I've been busy lately. I became rejuvenated with the gym on Thursday, Jan. 11, and I haven't missed a day since then. I guess that's almost three weeks straight now. I've been heading in the mornings to the Y, and most days I love it - it makes me feel like I've accomplished something even before the day begins. But other times, I have a hard time getting to bed at the 10 o'clock or so that I should be getting to bed in order to be healthy for that 4:45 alarm clock, and I pay for it later that day. When I don't go in the morning, I go after school, which invariably soaks up a couple of hours of time and leaves no time for anything else.
I don't have weight loss numbers, yet - it was five pounds as of Friday the 19th, the last time I stepped on the scale - but am feeling pretty certain that I will be The Big Loser contest winner at school. Not that it matters to me, really. I just try to live healthy each day and go with the flow that way. Soon, I'll be back down to my fighting weight.
I've also managed to head to the movies a couple of times in the last three days. On Sunday, I drove out to Owings Mills with a couple of colleagues to see The Last King of Scotland. Tonight, I saw The Queen with a Zenchick. Both are biopics that feature performances that will probably win Best Lead Acting at the Oscars, so of course I had to see them before the end of next month.
I found The Queen to be the better made of the two films, though less affecting than Last King of Scotland. The former is all about conflicts, mostly between the old and the new, and offers a pretty fascinating account of both the interactions between Tony Blair and the Queene along with a strangely unemotional family. And the performances are great. Still, I was a bit bored at times, and thought Blair's turnaround at the end came out from nowhere. It was meant to make The Queen a more sympathetic character, but it didn't quite do it for me; her arc wasn't quite full.
A good movie, to be sure, but the Best Picture nomination is a little mystifying. Perhaps part of it is my total lack of interest in the Royal Family for much of my life. Though it was still an interesting character study, I'm sure it would have been more interesting if I had known a bit more about the characters.
(Random note: August 30, 1997 - the date of Princess Diana's death - is notable in my life because it was the first night I was on duty as an RA in college.)
Similarly, The Last King of Scotland rests on the shoulders of a strong performance, and Forrest Whitaker certainly is amazing as Idi Amin. Still, this is not Hotel Rwanda - we get everything through the eyes of a cliched wide-eyed white Scottish doctor who at least eschews cliche a bit by being morally bankrupt himself. The horrors are touched upon more and more as the film proceeds, but we never get as much of a sense of Amin's destructions as my colleagues and I had expected. The film was suitably beautiful, though a bit of the camera work is off-putting. Another good film, not a great one - I had more emotionally invested in this film than The Queen, but it wasn't quite as tight.
So that leaves just a few more movies I hope to see before Oscar night - Letters From Iwo Jima, Venus, Half Nelson, Volver. So far, I put The Queen squarely behind the other three Best Picture nominees I've seen, and can't wait to cross another off my list.
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