Fingers on Fire

So, yes, I finally got to see Brain on Fire last night! Found a way to watch it and I couldn’t resist… 🙂 Warning: some SPOILERS ahead, proceed at your own risk!

Brain on Fire tells the true story of young journalist Susannah Cahalan (Chloë Grace Moretz) who starts showing erratic behaviour, she deteriorates into psychoses, and is hospitalized while the doctors can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with her. The movie is all about this deterioration process and the search for answers by her, her divorced parents Tom (Richard Armitage) and Rhona (Carrie-Anne Moss) and her boyfriend Stephen (Thomas Mann).

So, what did I think of the movie? The acting was fine, the camera really likes Richard Armitage (he gets some nice close-ups), Moretz did a decent job, Moss (under-used!) and Mann were good, but the story was… a little tedious. Can’t quite put my finger on it why this movie did not ignite for me, but I think maybe it was because the story was fully focussed on the process of Susannah’s decline and the mystery surrounding her illness, where I had hoped it would be more character driven. Of course, as an Armitage fan, I was particularly interested in the characterization for Tom and it was not what I had hoped either. I remember from reading the book that this search for the truth brought Susannah closer to her father, also due to his diaries he wrote at the time, but I saw little of that in the movie. He and Susannah seemed OK with each other from the start (yes, he was a little annoyed with her sometimes, but no more or less than any parent would be) and he was happy with her in the end. Richard played the worried father very well (he was even scary sometimes when he got angry and felt helpless) but other than the worry and the relief at the end, there wasn’t that much character development for him here, I felt. Oh, and as an outsider, I thought he did a good American accent! End verdict for me: the movie was fine and I will watch it again (especially Richard’s bits) but, alas, it wasn’t a masterpiece movie.

My so-so opinion of the movie didn’t stop my screencapping fingers – they were on fire as I screencapped quite a lot of Richard in this. Finally, some new Richard-work for me to sink my teeth into! Alas, the caps aren’t high-resolution, but they are still lovely to look at. Be warned, there are lots! This post isn’t titled “fingers on fire” for nothing…

This is from the beginning of the movie, Tom working the BBQ, meeting Susannah’s boyfriend and celebrating Susannah’s birthday…

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Tom visiting his daughter’s apartment…

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In Susannah’s apartment after she gets home from a first stay in hospital…

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Rhona and Tom discussing their daughter. Also, Tom’s reactions to his daughter’s odd behaviour during dinner…

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Worried at the hospital…

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Tom watching over his daughter…

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In the doctor’s office, desperate because there are no answers…

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Worried at the hospital and Tom comforting Susannah’s boyfriend…

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More worries…

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Talking with Rhona and then standing alone in the dark. I love the standing alone in the dark shot (and there’s the diary in his hand, which has no place at all in the storyline).

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Worries, then finally some good news, smiles and a tearful release…

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And I think this is my fave screencap.. hugs after the relieving news of a diagnosis… I just love those smile crinkles!

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And then the happy ending… Susannah recovering and daddy Tom happily supporting her…

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So, yeah, this may not be the greatest movie ever but it offers lots of Richard-goodies! Papa Richard is a lovely sight to behold. ❤

Needing new Richard material…

Releases in Bulgaria, Taiwan, Thailand… Brain on Fire is apparently more interesting for the Eastern (Europe /Asia) market than for the Western (Europe/US) market. I saw this image from the movie on my Twitter timeline this week…

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… and for that shot alone I want to see this movie! I have a soft spot for profile/bearded Richard, he’s also looking sharp in a suit and then he has this sweet look/smile on his face… yep, makes me go weak in the knees! When I look at this I can even forgive him for silly (re)tweets! I look at profile-with-beard-Richard every day, he’s on my Crucible poster with signed ticket in my dining room…

… and I can never get enough of that look!

Also, the doting daddy thing – I’d really like to see Brain on Fire for that as well. There were already some doting Richard-daddy pics out there (scroll through posts here and here to see them), with this cropped picture so far as my favourite (I think you can see the pattern emerging here – beard… profile…)

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And some newer doting daddy shots have recently emerged as well…

… more profiles and half profiles! When is this movie coming out here already?! I understand it is supposed to be released on Netflix, but when?

Right now, I don’t think Richard has any doting-daddy thoughts on his mind. He’s having fun in Berlin with his leading ladies, where the new Berlin Station series has just started shooting…

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Maybe what I need to do before I finally get to see Brain on Fire is finally finish watching the last 4 episodes of Berlin Station, series one… As much as I love Richard, I have not been loving Daniel Miller so much, so I have put off watching those final 4 episodes. However, the desire for a fix of new Richard material is getting stronger and stronger. Maybe the time has finally come to finish Berlin Station then…

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I’d better be off! No time like the present before I lose my nerve… 🙂

Richard and Colin in action

A trailer for Richard Armitage’s Brain on Fire was made available this past week!

No cinema release dates for my end of the woods yet, but it’s a start! There are lovely Richard snippets in the trailer, already immortalized in gifs (source)…

I really hope I can get to see this in a cinema in the not too distant future.

Our Rich has also been tweeting and deleting again. It’s his right, of course, but it gets exhausting to follow… Anyhow, the latest tweet is about the anti-immigration order to the US, which is effectively also an anti-Muslim ban. Yay to Richard for at least leaving this tweet up on his feed (and a pity he deleted the Women’s March one from last week)…

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He followed the tweet by two pictures he also shared last year in his tweets about visiting a refugee shelter in Berlin.

Even he can not stay silent in these divisive times filled with hateful rhetoric. He may want to be overly careful with how he utters his opinions (tweeting and deleting), in certain deleted tweets you can sense how passionate he is about the Brexit and Trump policy issues, but I do see that he sides with values I also hold dear. I am very happy to see that. In honesty, if he had been on the other side of this argument, had he been pro Trump and pro this ridiculous immigration ban, it would have been a dealbreaker for me. I can respect differing political views but all these Trump policies are so against my absolute core beliefs! I can agree to disagree on many issues and still love a person but I can not accept when someone is pro discrimination and easily waves away human and civil rights. Thank goodness he is on the right side of the argument for me and I can still love him. 🙂

Colin Firth hasn’t been sitting quietly in a corner either. He was at the Producer’s Guild of America awards where he received an award for the movie Loving that he produced.

I have seen the movie recently and I love the calmness of it and how it is shown that change can come from very normal people in peaceful and patient resistance. It’s the true story of an interracial couple, very fittingly named Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenge their arrest for their marriage in Virginia. This challenge to racial segregation law led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.

The movie won a PGA award and Colin, as producer, accepted the award. The awards show started with John Legend slamming Trump’s anti-immigration policy and when Colin was up for the Loving award, he said this:

“I am deeply committed to vacuous entertainment, escapist froth; even a casual glance at my career will tell you that. But I think Stanley Kramer has challenged us, really, to use what we do as an instrument for empathy. I would echo the words we heard at the beginning of this evening — Now more than ever, it is vital to find stories that do that. This is for Mildred and Richard Loving, for the ACLU, for everyone who is fighting for their civil rights, and for everyone who’s families are being separated by the discrimination and violence.”  (source)

If I didn’t already love this man, I’d fall in love with him all over again!

Happy birthday, Richard!

Richard Armitage is 45 years old today and I wish him all the very best for the coming year and beyond with lots of love and happiness and success!

It almost feels a bit like my own birthday, as I’ve been catching up with Richard news since coming back from my vacation: Berlin Station trailers and pictures, Richard in a lovely lovely light grey suit…

… and I love this picture…

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The Berlin Station trailers look really good. And I don’t just mean Richard looking good, those trailers and the story look good too! But let me focus on Richard here (images sourced from RichardArmitageNet.com, but cropped and lightened by me – click to enlarge). We get political-Richard (OK, long shot, but there is Obama in the background!), crinkle-Richard and goofy-grin-Richard!

And of course intense-Richard…

I find it weird to hear his voice with an American accent but from what I gathered from the trailer, the accent seemed better than I remember it being in Into the Storm (where his accent felt totally off to me). And this following image really made me smile – Richard mimicking his intense phone stance from the Berlin Station image:

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If Berlin Station is as good as the promos promise, then the coming year may be a good one for Richard!

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There have also been two nice Brain on Fire  images, of Richard as doting dad.

Especially that second image, his whole face as well as his body exuding love and concern, warms my heart. Here, have a close up, look at the crinkle at the corner of his eye and the tender smile and the leaning… ahhh!

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And apparently the movie is going to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as well. I went to TIFF once with two close friends of mine and am just realizing that that was 10 years ago! At the time we tried to get glimpses of Brad Pitt… but yeah, this is all we saw at best (i.e. nothing):

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We did catch very far away glimpses of Kate Winslet (the blonde in the middle of the left picture) and Russel Crowe (in the top middle of the right picture):

Anyway, even though we never actually got to see the stars properly I have very very fond memories of going to TIFF with my two friends and I would love to go again, especially with Brain on Fire screening there! Alas, I have no money-tree in my back yard… just like I probably won’t be able to go see Love Love Love either… but today isn’t a day for feeling sorry, it’s a happy birthday day and I am thankful for all the goodies I have been looking at since my vacation! And it looks like a very good beginning, career-wise in any case, to Richard’s 46th year…

It’s lovely to celebrate today with all these lovely goodies. More celebrating can be done by donating to one of Richard’s preferred charities on Just Giving or be quick and join in Guylty’s auction or Servetus’s charity pledge today! Or,  just enjoy the man and his work. 🙂

 

What I have learned in the past 9 days

On the travel front

  • The Czech Republic is beautiful and green and hilly with lots of woods.
  • I literally can not understand a word of Czech… learning to say “thank you” (“děkuji“) properly is quite a task…
  • I remember loving Prague when I last was there 20 years ago and I now remember why: it is truly beautiful! Granted, it is overrun by tourists like me but it’s beautiful.
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Prague, central square

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My daughter trying to catch bubbles in Prague

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Prague – Charles bridge

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Memorial to 80.000 murdered Prague Jews in WWII (all their names emscribed on the walls)

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Prague – Old Jewish cemetery

  • Sometimes I wish I was a man, then I wouldn’t have to miss certain sites like this one:
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Men’s room in a shopping mall in Prague… DH was kind enough to document it, I think he peed in the urinal beneath the lady in red… 😉

  • We have visited many places already. Besides Prague my so far other favorite place is the town of Telč (Teltsh)
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Telč

Telč

Telč

  • Yet again confirmed: my kids are so much fun and make me laugh!
Headstone for a dead bug made by my daughter.

Headstone for a dead bug made by my daughter.

My son high-fiving the Virgin Mary

My son high-fiving the Virgin Mary

On the reading front

We have also had some down time. We stuck to our campsite now and again and when the kids go off to play in the pool or with new friends on the trampoline, there is plenty of time to read. With bad internet connection I have been less glued to the laptop and have been able to finish 3 of the 9 books on my summer reading list! I have learned that:

  • GSaWHad I read “Go Set a Watchman” before “To Kill a Mockingbird” I would never have loved Atticus Finch quite as much but I do still love the way he parents. “Go Set a Watchman” is a good book about growing up and letting go of the image of a parent as a superhero, but nothing can beat Harper Lee’s first novel. And I can’t let go of Attitcus as one of my heroes…
  • Parents can screw up their kids so badly! Well, that is no news, of course, but in “Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew” that became so verUGatSCy painfully clear yet again. And the character of Chop in “Urban Grimshaw”: he is so far from perfect, how can he be the one to help Urban? And yet, he does. A little attention, a sense of right and wrong, a little love and some nurturing can help a young life forward and can redeem your own. In the end, even when people are more or less redeemed, humans remain fallible, that is also clear. Can’t wait to see what Richard Armitage has done in the role of Chop when the film comes out!
  • It’s amazing what the chemistry in a brain can do to wreak havok in a life… Susannah Cahalan’s story in “Brain of Fire” BoFwas a very interesting read. And her dad, I love how he and Susannah ‘found’ each other again. He has a tough facade but is gooey on the inside. A role I already look forward to seeing Richard in.

On Richard Armitage

I was able to view the first two Hannibal episodes he is in and… WOW! The show still creeps me out (I started watching and I couldn’t make myself view more than a handful of episodes) but he is amazing. The things he does with his body I have never seen him do before!

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The quietness and the hidden emotion and the insecurities and the creepiness.. ah, this man is good! And I really love how he is stretching his acting legs, finding roles that challenge him as I think this one did.

Finally

I hate wasps, the ones that sting and are circling around my head  right now as I try to post this blog entry with awful wifi, which means it will take ages to load. Nonetheless, I am loving my vacation. 🙂