On the day when the 113th Congress of the United States was sworn in, I had the rare privilege of seeing a cinematic representation of Congress in the 19th century and its titanic struggle to pass the 13th amendment, end the American civil war and etch their names in the runes of time, all with the unrelenting push of arguably the greatest American president of all time, Abraham ‘Abe’ Lincoln. This story, dramatized in the Steven Spielberg epic, Lincoln, shows that the Jaws director, a master of big lights and stunts, is also a guru of dramatic aerobatics. I totally and thoroughly enjoyed the film and was most impressed by Daniel Day-Lewis’ height, made more striking by the impressive 19th century gentleman’s hat. All in all Lincoln is a proper movie, a candidate for the Oscars, and an enduring portrait of the early days of American democracy and of the men who played their part willingly or unwittingly in the abolition of slavery.
From the Capitol, I switched to the Shire and the grand story of the “Bagginses” who takes an unexpected journey with Thorin, son of Thrain, King under the mountain, and his band of dwarves in a quest to re-take their mountain home from a dragon. Once again Peter Jackson does great service to bring to the screen Tolkien’s classic, The Hobbit. I have enjoyed the recent Hollywood screen adaptations of some of my favourite books like The Help and The Hunger Games, though I have inexplicably refused to see the TV series of Game of Thrones as I refuse to dilute the “little movie” playing in my head from reading the books. At least until George R. R. Martin – the American Tolkien – completes his A Song of Ice and Fire catalogue.
And while the world awaits the last book from George R., I resolve to try and read more this year. Now that’s a pretty easy new year resolution to keep. Or is it?