Monday, January 28, 2013

Snow, Movies, and One Really Good Book

Park City, Utah
The magical setting for the Sundance Film Festival

This past weekend my dream of visiting a winter wonderland (read here) came true.  We spent a long weekend staying with friends in Deer Valley, Utah and were able to see five of the films that were shown at the Sundance Film Festival. Snow, movies, a magical setting, and one great book.  It was the perfect winter weekend.  

The Movies --

Ashton Kutcher in "Jobs," a biopic about Steve Jobs

The stars Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad and the director Joshua Michael Stern (center)

"Before Midnight" with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
The third movie in Richard Linklater's trilogy

All of the films we saw were enjoyable; these were my favorites:

"Jobs" -- Ashton Kutcher gives an excellent performance as Steve Jobs.  The film take us back to the beginning of Jobs' career when he was a student at Reed College.  The time period of the seventies and eighties is vividly brought to life through sets, costumes, and some really great music.  We watch Steve Jobs as he goes from a young man who dropped out of college and created Apple computers in his parents' garage to the moment in his career when he is about to release the IPhone.  It is a fascinating story and a terrific film. 

"Before Midnight" --  This is the third film in the trilogy directed by Richard Linklater.  It continues the love story between two characters, an American man Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and a French woman Celine (Julie Delpy).  The characters initially met on a train bound for Vienna in the 1995 film "Before Sunrise." They are reunited nine years later in the 2004 film "Before Sunset."  In "Before Midnight"  the characters are married, have children and are vacationing in Greece. They are in their forties, still in love, but dealing with the complications of their lives.  The witty and smart banter is one of the joys of the movie.  If you like great writing and dialogue, you will love this film.

We also saw and enjoyed "Don Jon's Addiction," "Afternoon Delight," and "The Way, Way Back."

The Setting -- 

 Beautiful Deer Valley
I loved having dinner one night at the Stein Erikson Lodge

The Snow --

There was plenty!
Here are skiers enjoying the snow as seen from our window in the morning

The snow continued to fall all weekend

The Book --

With all that snow, there were delays getting out of Salt Lake City.  Fortunately, I had a really good book to help me get through the long hours of waiting.  The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman fit the bill perfectly.  It follows the private lives of the reporters and editors who work for an English-language newspaper in Rome.  From the moment I began reading it, I was enchanted.  This novel is funny and poignant and includes a cast of characters that you will never forget.  Each chapter is about a particular journalist at the paper, from the editor in chief to the copy editor.  Although each chapter could stand on its own as a great short story, they are all connected and add up to a vivid portrait of this eccentric and nostalgic world, that of the newsroom.   This book is so good that it has me wondering, will someone turn it into a film?

I hope you have a chance to see these films -- they were all purchased and should be released in 2013  -- and to read this enchanting book by Tom Rachman.

Photo one via here, photo two via here, photo three via here, photo four via here, photo five via here 


  1. Sunday, Your weekend sound wonderful. The scenery is breathtaking. The movies and the book suggestions have been added to my list. Thanks!

  2. I loved Before Sunrise/Sunset. How come Julie Delpy never gets any older! No sign of a release date here, though.

  3. Thank you, thank you! I now know what I shall read next. "The Imperfectionists" sounds like just what I'm looking for. I've been such a fan of your blog for awhile now - thank you for sharing all that you do. By the way, it was your recent Jane Austen post that finally got me to read "Pride and Prejudice" (just finished it yesterday!). All the best, Kori

    1. Kori, that makes me very happy to know that I inspired you to read "Pride and Prejudice"! Thank you so much for your kind words. I think you will also enjoy "The Imperfectionists."

  4. I love snow! I went to Sundance about a decade ago, and it was just so fun to feel the energy there! I have had "The Imperfectionists," on my reading list for a while. I am so glad to hear another great review of it! Oh, and I read that Brad Pitt's production company bought the movie rights a while back. I don't know if it is any further along than that. Hope you're having a lovely day!

  5. HI Sunday,
    Read The Imperfectionists and liked it really well. The films look wonderful. Am checking Netflix next to see if they have the first two films of the trilogy. Thanks for your recommendations.
    PS Can you believe Sibyl died??

  6. Sunday having the opportunity to attend the Sundance Film Festival must have been such a wonderful weekend!
    I am eager to see the film Before Midnight as I loved watching the other two films.
    It must have been a busy weekend to see all those films and wow that is a lot of snow. Are you back in California land of sunshine yet?

  7. What fun! Sundance has long been on my list of things I'd love to do. A friend of mine just came home from her 10th year there and I always love to hear of the movies; good, bad and everything in between. Someday! The book sounds like the perfect antidote to a wet gray winter season here in the Northwest. Thank you for the recommendation.

  8. Sunday. What a magical weekend! Park City is ONE of my favorite places in the world. I never tire of the beauty there.

    I have not been to Sundance but these look like interesting movies. Did you see the movie, Austenland mentioned. I have yet to see the movie but I did read the book last year, amusing.

    The Imperfectionists in now on my list, it sounds exactly like the sort of book I would enjoy!

    I hope you have a wonderful week, Elizabeth

  9. Sounds like a wonderful trip. What a treat to get to see some of the Sundance movies before all the rest of us. I'm going to add The Imperfectionists to my To Read list now. It sounds like an interesting book.

  10. That is a lot of snow! So beautiful and what a great experience to be able to attend Sundance.
    I must read The Imperfectionists! It sounds like just the thing I am looking for right now.

  11. What a fantastic setting and how exciting to go to the Sundance film festival! I had no idea there was going to be a third Before... movie. I definitely need to see that.

  12. The Imperfectionists is wonderful. I met Tom Rachmann at a reading he did nearby (right after the book came out) and he did say that the option for the movie was purchased by Brad Pitt's production company, although he said you never know if it will actually be made. I think it would make a fantastic film with those characters!! That was about 2 yrs ago. I am still waiting for book number two. He was a pleasure to listen to and meet. My signed copy of the book sits on my bookshelf!
    Looks like a wonderful time, by the way -! I love Ethan Hawke and am thrilled to know another movie is coming out.

  13. Sunday....I have always wanted to go to Sundance. I am so glad it was a wonderful experience. Just saw Ethan Hawke do a program on Shakespeare's Macbeth.

  14. So pleased to hear about Before Midnight. I loved the first two and reading this has prompted me to maybe buy them for Valentine's Day this year.

  15. I loved "The Imperfectionists." What a fun novel. The Utah setting of your trip is so gorgeous. I was in northern Arizona at Christmas, my first time out West, and look forward to exploring it more.