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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 25, 2013

The Flicks

As we approach the Oscars, a formidable field of movies awaits recognition. Some years are more fruitful than others. The past year had a distinct variety of movies, of which I saw many.

Anna Karenina—Leo Tolstoy must be spinning in his Russian grave at this adaptation of his great novel.  The story of Anna is indeed a great tragedy. A married woman, played nicely by Keira Knightly, falls for a dashing soldier and winds up being shunned by Russian society, and throws herself under a train.  Greta Garbo played Anna in the black-and-white version years ago.

Argo—Ben Affleck as the director and star of this film based on a true story delivers a doubly skillful performance. This story of six Americans trapped in Iran delivers a powerful insight into a tense, nail-biter situation during the 1979 hostage crisis. Add John Goodman and Alan Arkin. Suspenseful!

Lincoln— The highlight of all the films I viewed for this column. Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field as Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln was brilliant casting. The year is 1863 and Abe is trying desperately to pass the 14th Amendment, fighting slavery. Aiding Lincoln is an abolitionist senator, played stirringly by Tommy Lee Jones. Stephen Spielberg also deserves much credit for this view of Lincoln garnering votes to pass this important bill in the midst of the Civil War.

Les Misérables— Victor Hugo’s novel came to life on the screen, and this film still has me humming the beautiful score. Anne Hathaway truly surprised me with her singing ability and her performance as Fantine, mother of Cosette. Hugh Jackman was superb as Jean Valjean as well. Russell Crowe as Javert, the police officer, acted well, but his singing was a bit below par. Les Misérables is a glorious musical, performed by a talented cast.

Silver Linings Playbook—This one faked me out. I did not expect the psycho-drama of a bipolar man, Bradley Cooper, falling in love with a troubled woman, gorgeous and oversexed Jennifer Lawrence. Their dance scenes were tender and humorous. Don’t forget Robert DeNiro as the father of Bradley Cooper, and a sports nut.

Zero Dark Thirty—Kudos to Kathryn Bigelow for her skill in directing war pictures. The battle to find and eradicate Osama Bin Laden is the story and Jessica Chastain plays the CIA agent who tenaciously stays on his trail. The documentary style keeps the audience in suspense until the final scenes in the Pakistani hideaway. A great movie!

One day, Lorraine and I actually saw three movies. We wanted to be prepared for “Oscar Night.” Let me know what you think about my mini-reviews of these films.   

News

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano recently announced that the annual “1863 Thanksgiving Holiday Celebration” at Old Bethpage Village Restoration will be held on Saturday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors to Old Bethpage Village, the re-created mid-19th Century village, will be able to enjoy the sights and aromas of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving including decorated pumpkin pies baked in a beehive oven and turkey roasted over an open fire. In addition, each afternoon, traditional fiddle music will be played, and children’s stories will be read several times each day.

A little bit of Hollywood has come to Plainview. The Loft Sound Studio, a Plainview-based vocal and performance training facility, is the creation of lifelong music artists Donnie Klang and Matthew LaPorte. The duo says that they draw upon their personal experience of the ups and downs of the recording industry to give kids today the chance to be superstars.

“Essentially, we’re looking for the next Justin Bieber, someone we can train and teach them how to really become an artist, put them on YouTube and hope they really blow up,” said LaPorte. “If they do, through our connections that we made while we were in the music industry the past 15 years, we would try and get them a record deal.”


Calendar

Concert Performance

Friday, November 21

Craft Barn Open House

Saturday, November 22

8th Annual POB Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Tuesday, November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com