Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tartan Shorts 8

Film of the week: “About Schmidt” I missed this film when it was first released and wasn’t expecting much when I stumbled across it on tv the other night but I loved it.

Jack Nicholson (never better) plays Warren Schmidt, a widower who’s recently retired from the financial services game and is wondering what to do with the rest of his life. (I wondered why I liked it so much.) It’s sad, funny and packed with quirky details and is all the better for the fact that it’s told at a lethargically slow pace. And then I discovered it was made by “Sideways” director Alexander Payne so no surprise that the quality was excellent.

News story of the week: What a week for news. A royal wedding, a new tax year, a general election announced in the UK and the Pope Idol auditions about to begin in Rome… talking of which, The Washington Post reported yesterday, in all seriousness, that “gamblers can back Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Italy at odds of 11 to 4 to be the next Pope or they can take their chances on Father Dougal McGuire of Craggy Island, Ireland at 1,000 to 1”. Eat your hearts out Woodward and Bernstein.

However, the headline that really caught my eye though was

“Murderer Husband Released After Wife Turns Up Alive”

She Xianglin, a former security guard in China, spent 11 years in jail for ‘killing’ his wife after she went missing in 1994. He was sentenced to death twice in the intervening years and claimed torture was used to extract a confession. In the understatement of the year Mr Xianglin said about his wife, “She broke my heart and ruined my life.” No kidding.

Album of the week: Finally got hold of a copy of “Out Of Nothing” by Embrace (cheers Andy) and it’s magnificent. I reckon it’s their best ever (and that’s saying something) full of soaring melodies and inventive songwriting. Buy it today… or burn a copy like I did.

Birthday of the week: My charming, smart, funny, future sister-in-law Kathryn is thirty-something today and will no doubt be celebrating with a cocktail or six together with a manicure and pedi. Have a great day and, of course, live long and prosper.


At 6/4/05 2:38 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

I hadn't finished yet! And anyway, you haven't come over to Ireland and cast a shadow, so you are not in there by name yet. And when you are it'll probably be a shite name like braveheart. ps. i still aint gotten your cd. Bloody royal mail are shite. all irish post is delivered overnight, and 2 days for abroad...

At 6/4/05 2:40 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

And I'm hoping for album of the week next week... ;~)

At 6/4/05 4:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil -

Thanks for the birthday love. I prefer to think of myself as twenty-nine for the 5th time - sounds much better than thirty-something!


At 6/4/05 7:17 pm, Blogger DC said...


"About Soapy" is indeed a great film , painfully lethargic though it is, but then,why rush?I think Jack's sweepover was Oscar nominated - something you missed out in your Oscar blogs.

New tax year - is that not just for people who work ?


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