Well, it’s been a busy old week in the Ruby Slippers household. Half term and a hectic array of social events mean that this morning was a welcome return to normality. I celebrated by sitting in Starbucks for a full hour, getting round to doing some of the reading I missed out on this past week in favour of looking after the small boy and trying to find five minutes to converse with the big one.
We went to see ‘Skyfall’ earlier in the week which wasn’t what I was going to write about but feel it might merit a mention after all. It’s important to note that I am not much of a film buff and therefore anything I have to say on the matter should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Indeed, the only other movie I have been to see in the past three years is ‘The Hunger Games’, which I thought was brilliant, and I watched ‘Bridesmaids’ when my husband was away and I’d run out of recorded episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. It was fairly enjoyable but Modern Family is funnier. In the world of celluloid and screen, TV is my first love and films come a very poor second. And since my brief encounter with nearly being cast in one, I can’t fathom what would inspire someone to reach for the stars in this manufactured, artificial world, when there is so much to be gained from performing live in a theatre in front of an actual audience that claps when you are finished. Ah well, each to their own. Let’s face it, they all earn a lot more than I do which means they must be doing something right.
So, film – not my thing. BUT I make three exceptions to this rule – 1. If I think a book was brilliant and hear on the grapevine that they didn’t trash it when they made the movie (e.g. The Hunger Games), 2. anything with John Cusack in it (I know, weird choice in a world that contains Hugh Jackman, George Clooney and Brad ‘I used to be hot but then I met Ange’ Pitt, but JC is my ‘I totally would’ and I make no apologies for that fact), and 3. Bond films.
I LOVE Bond. It’s a super-dooper version of Spooks (which I also loved, particularly before they killed off Rupert Penry-Jones, who was my Chief TV Totty for several years, replaced by Danny from CSI New York until he grew that silly moustache and currently a Situation Vacant).
I’m not sure why I get so fired up about 007. I have never found a Bond sexy so it’s certainly not about that. Daniel Craig might have the body of adonis but his little sticky out ears irritate me and his ‘back to basics’ Bond is boring and not in an ironic way. Piers Brosnan killed any kind of romantic associations I may have harboured for him the day he sung in ‘Mamma Mia’, and any Bond prior to that is so old now it’s just wrong to think of them in that way. Would be like shagging your Grandad. So no. It’s not the sex symbol thing. And let’s face it – it’s not the storyline. I love the ‘chase’ at the start, which always gets me on the edge of my seat (well, not always – for me, Skyfall did not produce the kind of adrenaline rush I was looking forward to) and I enjoy the gadgets (which again, Skyfall managed to score a big old zero for), but I’m not some kind of geek that knows all the films in sequential order or can list the baddies from each one. I just really enjoy watching them. They let me into my imaginary world for a few hours where I can dream about wearing glamorous dresses, jet setting round the world and killing people who really piss me off.
I have long believed I would have made a brilliant spy. I genuinely believe MI6 really missed a trick when they didn’t recruit me. Not so much now I spill my guts on a blog every week, of course, and possibly all that running around might have irritated me after a while, and it’s not the sort of career you can really have if you have a family – but I do think I would have made a very good assassin at the very least. I’m very organised, anally retentive, and have exceptionally good spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. I don’t like jobs that drag on e.g. filing, but I’m very good with jobs that require (excuse the pun) instant execution. We talked about this at a dinner party once, when the question round the table was of the ‘what do you wish you’d done when you were younger that you didn’t?’. Our guests displayed mild amusement when I said I thought I would have made a great spy and that I’d been wasted as a commercial manager in a graphic design agency, but this quickly turned to mild alarm when my husband agreed that I would have indeed been very good at it, given the right training, and that he didn’t think shooting people would have been a particular problem.
So me + spy films = happy. But I have to say whilst I enjoyed aspects of ‘Skyfall’, I am tiring of the ‘humanising’ of Bond. I don’t agree with the portrayal of him as a vulnerable man whose age is catching up with him. Borrrrring. Bond doesn’t get old, or die. He just gets replaced with a newer, improved version. That’s the point. And I’m not sure there was anything new or improved about this movie. Judy Dench was fantastic though and I thought the new Moneypenny was well cast – full of flirtatious innuendos and sexy enough to get her rocks off with Bond but not so outstandingly attractive that he would fall in love with her to exclusion of all others. And the new Q was a good addition who provided a the humour that was missing a little from the rest of the movie. And I liked the baddie. But the ‘Bond girl’ (if you can call her that) was terrible, the plot was a tad bullet-riddled and the ending was way too soppy for my liking. I feel there must be a balance between Contemporary Bond and Bond a la Fromage. Maybe they will find it in the next one.
So – enough of that – what else have I been up to this week? Well we had another dinner party on Friday where I didn’t talk about shooting people in cold blood, but did manage to cock up the starter and dessert so royally we ended up having ice cream with Crunchie bar bits and chocolate biscuits after dinner. Not a big deal, thankfully, as despite the pedigree of the guests (one descended from TV royalty, another friends with actual royalty) they were only in their late twenties and thought it was great. Either that or they have been brought up to be incredibly polite. As I am not a spy and therefore cannot read people’s minds with my special psychic spy pen, I will never know.
Next week, we jet off in rather less than Bond-esque fashion via Emirates economy class to Sri Lanka. Despite the lack of casinos I’m rather looking forward to some quality family time exploring a new country (should we get further than the hotel pool of course). So it’s time to tackle the hundred and one things to do before we go. I bet Bond never had to paint the ceiling or get his garden furniture sanded and stained. Although I’ve never had a helicopter shoot down my house either. Fair play. Maybe not being a spy has it’s advantages after all.
- ‘Skyfall’ Review: Nothing like a perfect Bond film, but ‘Skyfall’ gets so much right (ibnlive.in.com)
- Skyfall: Is This The Most Feminist Bond Film Yet? (graziadaily.co.uk)
- Skyfall – review (guardian.co.uk)