The last couple of months I have been watching a lot of movies. More movies per day than ever in my life. Amidst the comforts of my home or at a close friends home. There is always heavily buttered popcorn on hand and padded ottomans and footstools to rest cramped legs on. There are familiar looking blankets to snuggle into and silk sofa cushions to hide my face in when the scary or sad bits come on the screen. Comfortable viewing conditions. Comfortable conditions for heart to heart conversations with my friend.
You see, my friend is a screen writer and former film studio executive. She has given up her high intensity and very competitive, movie deal making life for a short while. She is concentrating on her own writing and enjoying being with her growing children. One day in the near future she will go back to the craziness of Hollywood. Right now she is taking a well deserved break, that is turning out to be very creatively productive.
She is part of the screen writers guild (some long official name). Thus she has the privilge to sometimes vote for nominations and/or then the winners for the Oscars and other awards. You remember the "members of the academy" thanked by the gold statuette clutching winners on the podium? Well, she is one of those. Pretty fun job I thought!
As is usual before Awards season, big stacks of dvd's arrived for her viewing and voting pleasure. Some movies barely released, and some had been around for the year.
And so we watched movies, and talked about them and related them to our lives. From her I learned something about movie deal making and screen writing. Rewound some movies to watch parts she wanted to examine some more before making decisions. And then we talked movies and about our lives some more.
It was revealing how many confessions we blurted out, some shocking, some worrying, some even happy. We talked of worries and hopes and dreams and yet more worries.
We watched the actors on screen cry, laugh, love, breakup, be dissatistfied with life, be faithful or not, lie, cheat, steal and commit other crimes, be nasty, be angelic . How many of those emotions we had felt and things we had done that could have been pulled off the screen and placed in our lives without change!
One of the movies we watched was Changeling with Angelina Jolie in the lead. My friend has known and worked with that actress in a strictly professional capacity since Angelina first started in the movies as a very young ingenue. She told me of how she has seen the actress's persona emerge and evolve as girl to woman and as a working professional. She told me how the actress's choice of roles has kept pace with that evolution. Something that I had never before given thought to.
Suddenly, I understood why she took up this movie at this stage of her life.
This role could only have been done by a mother. This is more than just Method acting at work.
It is a movie that I found very difficult to watch as a mother. I have experienced the joys and pains that my own children expose me to. I know the gut wrenching love a mother can have for her progeny. I have never actually experienced the awful aftermath of being seperated from a child but I have and continue to struggle with the fear of going away from my children forever. I can relate. Yes, I can. For the first time I could talk about that with a trusted friend. And then we both cried some more.
My fears are a story for another time.
And to think that we say that movies dont relate at all to our lives!