Perception is one-sided. When we think of Hollywood and movie stars, as audience members, we have one perception. Those who knew them best have another perception.
In 2011, Jennifer Grant, the only child of the late movie star Cary Grant wrote a memoir of what is was like to grow up with a movie star father. Entitled Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant, she writes of a loving and giving father. Despite the fact that he and Jennifer mother’s, Grant’s 4th wife, Dyan Cannon, divorced when Jennifer was a baby, Ms. Grant writes about being raised in supportive, nurturing environment.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. It’s always fascinating to see how the other half lives, especially when the other half is Hollywood royalty. The problem is that I could not get into the book and I felt disconnected from the story, even though I knew it was a memoir.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
Desperate times often calls for desperate measures. The questions are, what are we willing to give up in the process and how does that process change us?
In the new movie, Lady Macbeth (which has no connection to William Shakespeare character other than the title of the film), Katherine (Florence Pugh) is a young woman sold in the name of marriage to an older man. Forbidden from doing much of anything, Katherine is left alone with only her servants for company while her husband and father in law go out into the world. She starts sleeping with Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis), one of her husband’s groomsman. The affair quickly becomes an affair of the heart. But things get messy when her husband and father in law return home. Katherine and Sebastian try to clean up the mess they have created. But the more they try to clean it up, the messier it becomes.
The best way to describe this film is that it is a hybrid of the psychology of an Alfred Hitchcock film with the imagery and narrative of a Wuthering Heights adaptation. It also speaks truth to power about what a woman will do when she has no direct power and must use other means to get what she wants. The three things that stand out for me are a) the diverse cast b) the lack of music and how background sounds play a role in telling the story and c) how I felt as an audience member when the film was done. I disliked Katherine for her actions, but in understanding her motivation, it made for a very well done film.
I absolutely recommend it.
Lady Macbeth is presently in theaters.