Reading: Molly Fox’s Birthday, by Deirdre Madden, having just finished The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga (a pacey rags to riches story with a twist, giving frightening insight into India. It’s an accomplished debut, and though it lacks the weight and wonder that marks a book out for generations to come, it’s still worth a read), and Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson (beautifully gentle, crafted story that rings of loss and strange connections).
Watching: Lots. I’ve been on a lot of flights. Saw Benjamin Button – meh. Though Mr Gateau’s rewinding clock was touching and effective, and there were some gigglish struck-by-lightening scenes, the rest was more of the same overwrought, emotive gum that’s getting churned out at a great rate of late, achieving its tear-jerking aim only through the boredom that resulted from watching three-odd hours of it. Also Revolutionary Road – not bad, though hard to separate from the book, which, unsurprisingly was better. And snippets of Australia, which is not the kind of film to watch on a six-inch screen.
Attended: The opening night of All My Sons at the Gate. It’s a timely production of a play with an alarming contemporary resonance, that deals, as Arthur Miller often does, with the moral choices faced by men in a world where money maketh the man. The Gate production is a straight-up affair, allowing Miller’s text to do its thing, to play out the stories of ordinary Americans in a moral, human context. Len Cariou is powerful as Joe Keller (in one exhausting, emotionally-charged scene he seizes, electrically) , Barbara Brennan is emotionally fierce as Kate, Peter Gaynor is compelling as George Deever and while the other performances don’t quite meet the measure of these three, it still makes for some gripping, lingering moments. Read Peter Crawley’s review here.
Missed: David Byrne on Monday. Don’t want to talk about it.