About Me

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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z Dear Rocky - Zack & Miri Make a Porno

Dear Rocky,

I don't think many people will have guessed that we would choose Zack & Miri as our Z tribute!

You know with these romantic comedies, is that what we'd call this?  Well, sometimes it's easy to get resentful of the predictable ending...... but not for me in this case.

I totally bought their friendship throughout the film, and I also totally bought their realisation that they were in love.  Call me a sap!

It makes me wonder about the importance of building the foundations of a relationship with friendship, and what about the possibilities of friendships developing into love?  Food for thought.

I give this film 8/10.

It's been a massive A-Z.  Thanks everyone for reading and for your comments.  I know I've discovered some awesome blogs to follow.

See you on our Facebook page Rock!


Read Rocky's review here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y Dear Rocky - You're the One (Garci)

Dear Rocky,

I discovered Jose Luis Garci movies when my good friend Jacques Simon educated me in the ways of Spanish cinema many moons ago.  While several of his movies sit in the back of my mind including Volver a Empezar and El Abuelo, my favourite all time film has to be You're the One (Una Historia de Entonces).

The film is set during the Spanish Civil war and is shot in Black & White.  Garci, you've already stolen my heart.  It is set in the north of Spain where our protagonista Julia's family owns a house, still cared for by Tia Gala and her daughter in law, Pilara.  Pilara's young son, Juanito lives with the women.

Julia's husband has been killed in the war and Pilara's husband, Gala's son, is missing.

This is a film about grief.  Grief and love.  And it is Julia's love for her husband that most attracts me to this film.

Her grief is palpable and is so eloquently expressed with every cigarette Julia smokes, artistically captured in black and white film.  Her blonde hair also highlighted, juxtaposed against her deep brown eyes.

Gala comments that Julia has a ghost stuck to her soul, one that she cannot detach from and in a way, that is one of the greatest sentiments in the entire film for me.  Imagine a love so enduring that it outlasts death.

Julia's broken heart leaps from the film and the healing of it and her soul is pure perfection throughout the film.

If you haven't seen this film, you really must.  It has touched my heart and soul very deeply.

What did you think Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Lydia Bosch as Julia in You're The One

Monday, April 28, 2014

X Dear Rocky - Xanadu

If you've been enjoying these movie reviews, be sure to check out Dear Rocky Dear Jodie: The Actor and The Psychologist At The Movies.

Dear Rocky,

Wow, what a flashback Xanadu has been.  Once again it took me back to my childhood years when we would play dress-ups and go roller skating - I always wanted to be Olivia Newton-John.

I had forgotten about Gene Kelly being in this movie and what a wonderful thing that was.  I can't say I have been thrilled with the acting, storyline or even the skating to be honest, but I am equally in awe of the soundtrack as I ever have been.

The duet between Olivia and Gene, Whenever You're Away From Me is one of my absolute favourite moments in the movie.

To revisit Suddenly by Cliff Richards - Wow!

And what about that song where the old meets the new - the one about dancing - I couldn't find the name of it, but I love it!

Hmmm, and of course Xanadu.

What great music and great memories.  Pity I can't say the same for the film.  I give Livvy's Aussie accent a 10/10.  The film, a 4/10?????

What did you think Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W Dear Rocky - Whale Rider

Dear Rocky,

I cannot believe I hadn't seen this film until tonight!  I remember the energy surrounding it at the Oscars when it was released and the gorgeous Maori actress, Keisha Castle Hughes who was nominated for the best actress Oscar and now I understand why.

This is a life changing movie and I want to shout it from the rooftops that everyone must see it.  Films from NZ often are......

There are major relationships in this film but the two I want to focus on are the ones between Pai and her grandfather Koro and of course the connection with her ancestors.

The opening lines narrated by Pai tell us everything we need to know:

Paikea: In the old days, the land felt a great emptiness. It was waiting. Waiting to be filled up. Waiting for someone to love it. Waiting for a leader.
[child birth scene]
Paikea: And he came on the back of a whale. A man to lead a new people. Our ancestor, Paikea. But now we were waiting for the firstborn of the new generation, for the descendant of the whale rider. For the boy who would be chief.
Paikea: There was no gladness when I was born. My twin brother died, and took our mother with him.

There was no gladness, because Pai was a girl.  I thought for sure that Koro had accepted her fully and would invite her into his school to train a new chief but he didn't, right up until the point that she rode the whale.

Pai never gave up.  She always understood her connection to her ancestors.  The traditions in this film are educational and inspirational.

I've seen the haka many times and each and every time have been chilled to the bone - I love it.  This is the same multiplied by infinity.

I give this film 10/10 and I urge everyone to see it if you haven't already.

Great choice Rocky!


Read Rocky's review here!

Friday, April 25, 2014

V Dear Rocky - Viva Las Vegas

Dear Rocky,

I know my recent reviews have steered more away from the relationships within the movie and more towards the impact it has had on my life and my relationships.

Viva Las Vegas is no different.

On Saturday afternoons, we would sit in the lounge-room with our mum and watch Elvis Presley films.  My mum had the biggest crush on Elvis and would dance and sing to his records.  One of them came with a poster of the King neatly folded inside.  We were never allowed to touch it!

Viva Las Vegas was one of many Elvis films we watched with her.  I think I had my own crush on the young Elvis, even as a little girl.  He was captivating and was always chased by the beautiful girls even though he was often the bad boy.   Hmmmm, maybe that explains a few things about some of the choices I've made in my life!

You know, I don't think I've ever seen my Mum so happy or as relaxed as when she was dancing around our living room to Elvis.

I can't help but wonder if I'm named after one of Elvis' characters in Kissing Cousins....

Another example of how movies have connected me to the important people in my life.  This time my Mum!

Can't wait to read your review Rocky.


Read Rocky's review here!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U Dear Rocky - Up

Dear Rocky,

When I was sick, a friend bought me the DVD of Up.  I didn't watch it for the longest time - maybe a year.  I was well long before I picked it up and when I sat down to watch it for the first time, I had no expectations.

The film began and I thought the relationship between Carl and Ellie was cute.

When they found out they couldn't have babies, my heart broke and I sobbed.  I'd just had a hysterectomy.  I wondered why on earth my friend had given me such a film - something so close to home - and then I watched the rest of it.

I cannot put into words the positive impact this little cartoon movie has had on me.

I give it a 10/10.



Read Rocky's review here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T Dear Rocky - Twilight

Dear Rocky,

I have to admit that as a fully grown adult, I bought into the relationship between Bella and Edward (and Jacob) hook, line and sinker!

These moody, translucent teenagers had me captivated and I eagerly anticipated the release of each of the trilogy.  That's pretty weird considering the books completely sucked, but I guess everyone wants to look at beautiful people.  It doesn't even matter if they can act.  Haha I can't wait to read what you say about the acting Rock!

I loved the concept of these movies and was happy that they somewhat re-wrote the rules of Vampires.

In this film, we aren't yet sure who Bella will choose - Edward the vampire or Jacob the wolf - but at the end of the day, it didn't really matter.

I give Twilight 6.5/10.



Read Rocky's review here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S Dear Rocky - the Shawshank Redemption

Dear Rocky,

The Shawshank Redemption introduced me to both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and how grateful I am for that.

What most impresses and intrigues me about this film is the relationship humans (in this case, Andy and Red) have with hope in even the most dire of circumstances.

What is it about the human spirit that allows us to see a way out, when the most probable scenario robs us of an escape?

Perseverance, commitment, dedication and ..... hope. 

This incredible story of hope sees the most happy of endings for two unlikely friends bonded forever by their imprisonment.  In watching their journey, our hearts grow and in some way we hope that we, as human beings, are as strong of spirit, if ever the need arises.

For people everywhere, Shawshank Redemption tops 'Favourite Films' lists.  I have to agree.  It's close to the top of mine.  I give it a 10/10.

How about you Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

R Dear Rocky - Rocky

Dear Rocky,

The Rocky movies formed such a huge part of my childhood.  On rainy Saturday afternoons, my friend and I would sit in her darkened lounge room and watch videos.

We knew that the lolly tin sat behind her father's rocking chair.  We'd pull it out and chew our way through all the classics.  This was the time of the Star Wars trilogy and of course, Rocky.

When I think of my childhood and of that friendship, movies play such a huge role.  In fact, it was her Nana's car that we sat in when we watched On Golden Pond, and her father's car that we sat in to watch E.T.  (Can you believe we didn't review E.T.!)

Movies connect us to people, so I guess instead of talking about Rocky and Micky, or Rocky and Adrienne, or Rocky and Apollo, I've chosen to talk about the relationship between me and my childhood movie buddy at a time when the movies became magic.

As an aside, I give Rocky 9/10 because I can still recite several quotes as if I watched it only yesterday.

What about your review Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q Dear Rocky - the Queen

Dear Rocky,

As a member of the Commonwealth, I was raised under the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The relationship I'd like to comment on in the movie The Queen, is that between the Queen and her people.  Firstly, Helen Mirren (a pure Goddess) was sheer graceful perfection in this film.

We know she has had a difficult relationship with Princess Diana throughout the years and this film captures the monarchy at the time of Diana's sudden death.

It is easy for the people of the Commonwealth to turn against the Queen in their time of shock and grief.

What I love about this story is the Queen's realisation and acceptance of this and in a way, her willingness to be the fall-guy in a sense.

Her stoicism and dedication to tradition is astounding at this time, when her cold exterior has us perceiving her in one way, yet at her core, her main concern is the welfare of her young grandsons, Harry and William.

The subtleties in this film, in this performance, were phenomenal in my opinion.

I give The Queen a 10/10!  I know!  I'm an easy critic.

What are your thoughts Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here!

Friday, April 18, 2014

P Dear Rocky - Pulp Fiction

Dear Rocky,

From the outset I'm telling you that Pulp Fiction is my ALL TIME classic movie choice and I'm telling you, it gets a 10/10.  I HEART Tarantino!

No review required.

Okay, okay, a little review.

My FAVOURITE relationship in this film is the one between Bruce Willis' character, Butch, and his French girlfriend, Fabienne.

The following exchange is my favourite, because I have a pot belly!

Fabienne: I was looking at myself in the mirror.
Butch: Uh-huh?
Fabienne: I wish I had a pot.
Butch: You were lookin' in the mirror and you wish you had some pot?
Fabienne: A pot. A pot belly. Pot bellies are sexy.
Butch: Well you should be happy, 'cause you do.
Fabienne: Shut up, Fatso! I don't have a pot! I have a bit of a tummy, like Madonna when she did "Lucky Star," it's not the same thing.
Butch: I didn't realize there was a difference between a tummy and a pot belly.
Fabienne: The difference is huge.
Butch: You want me to have a pot?
Fabienne: No. Pot bellies make a man look either oafish, or like a gorilla. But on a woman, a pot belly is very sexy. The rest of you is normal. Normal face, normal legs, normal hips, normal ass, but with a big, perfectly round pot belly. If I had one, I'd wear a tee-shirt two sizes too small to accentuate it.
Butch: You think guys would find that attractive?
Fabienne: I don't give a damn what men find attractive. It's unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same.

Can't wait to read your review Rocky!


Read Rocky's review here!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O Dear Rocky - On Golden Pond

Dear Rocky,

In 1981 I was nine years old and my friend's Nana took us to the drive-in to see On Golden Pond.  Not quite sure how age appropriate that was but I remember being mesmerised.  It was the moment I first fell in love with Katharine Hepburn and I have been obsessed with her ever since.

The relationship I'd like to discuss is the one between Ethel (Hepburn) and Norman (Henry Fonda).  Of course one of the most interesting relationships was the one between Norman and his daughter played by Jane Fonda - both onscreen and offscreen, but you know I like to choose something a little different, and I'm admiring loving couples at the moment.

I have wondered endlessly (and conducted mental surveys with anyone who would participate) about the ageing process and whether acceptance of death comes to everyone as a part of that process.  I'd like to think that if I am lucky enough to live to a ripe old age that by the time the end of my life arrives, that I will be ready and at peace with that process too.

The loving and lasting bond between Ethel and Norman reminds me that in love, we not only have or own mortality to fear, but also that of our loved one/s.  And in this case, Henry is failing before Ethel's eyes.  That heart-wrenching scene  where it seems Norman has had a heart attack shows Ethel's unwillingness to let Norman go out of her life, or is it unpreparedness?  Is that a lack of acceptance, or is that anticipatory grief?

I don't know but I could spend hours pondering love and heartbreak and the measure of a life based on the pain felt with the loss of a loved one.

I know I am extreme, but I give this film a 10/10.  It hasn't lost an ounce of impact for me over the years.

How about you Rocky? 


Read Rocky's review here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N Dear Rocky - Notting Hill

Dear Rocky,

How I love this film - Notting Hill.  When I was teaching English in Spain, there was a language magazine that used to sell video tapes of movies with subtitles.  The number of times I made my classes watch Notting Hill.....

I adore so many parts from this movie:

The flatmate - everything about him!
The book store attendant - everything about him!
Julie Robert's outfit when the orange juice is spilt on her
Hugh Grant saying Ooopsy Daisies....

But my favourite part, and my favourite relationship is the one between two characters we never meet - June and Joseph.  I would like a love like theirs.

I give Notting Hill 9/10.

What do you think Rocky?
Read Rocky's review here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M Dear Rocky - Man From Snowy River

Dear Rocky,

The Man from Snowy River was a childhood classic based on the Banjo Patterson poem of the same name.  In Year 9, our English teacher handed out a verse each that we were to recite in front of the class.  I was given the first verse.

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.

It was funny re-watching the film now.  Growing up, people always compared my sister to Sigrid Thornton who played Jessica, the daughter of Kirk Douglas in the film.  It was sort of nice revisiting that comparison.  I couldn't believe how young Tom Burlinson looked as he is still on our television screens today, looking and sounding much different.  I also have to comment on Kirk Douglas playing brothers in the film - the costuming on the gold mining brother was funny!

I found the movie so full of overacting and I think it would be a cliché to comment on any of the stereotypical relationships in the film.  So, I am going to comment on the relationship Australians (well okay, I) have with the poem, the country, the Snowy River area, and the horses.

I have spent many Summers and Winters near the Snowy River and when I think of Australia, I think of the countryside there.  It is truly spectacular and representative of the harsh terrain we find all over our great country.

I would think it would be hard to find an Aussie who couldn't recite you at least the first verse of the great poem and it makes me feel proud and connected to my culture and country whenever I hear it.

I give the poem a 10/10 of course, but unfortunately the film only gets a 5/10 from me and those points are all for the horses!!!

What do you think?


Read Rocky's review here.

This was a scary yet impressive scene in the movie.  I'm so glad the horse wasn't hurt!

Monday, April 14, 2014

L Dear Rocky - Lady and the Tramp

Dear Rocky,

Lady and the Tramp is pure Disney royalty in my book.  So touched by this cartoon about my favourite animals, my family went onto own a dog called Lady (she lived for 18 years and was my other sibling growing up) and a cat (I know!) called Tramp.

Can you believe this movie was made in 1955 yet tells the timeless tale of falling for the boy from the wrong side of the tracks..... maybe this film influenced my life more than I care to remember haha!  Of course my favourite relationship in this film is the one between Lady and her Tramp.  He has all the offerings of a bad boy, doesn't he?  He's been around the traps, he's a little hurt by life and knows how to look after himself.  At the same time, he has a heart of gold.  What's not to be attracted to?

I wonder why Jacques the Scottish terrier wasn't called Jock?  That would've made more sense to me.

How cute is it though that Lady thinks her owners are called "Jim Dear" and "Darling".  I love that detail.

I think this Disney classic is one that my nephews would watch and enjoy as much as I ever did.

I give this film 9/10.

What about you, Rocky?


Read Rocky's review here.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K Dear Rocky - Karate Kid

Dear Rocky,

Of all the relationships I could talk about within the Karate Kid, I am choosing to talk about mine.  With Ralph Macchio.

Of course I am talking about the original Karate Kid.  For me, there is no other.

In 1984, I was 12 years old and I think I fell in love for the first time.  With Daniel Larusso from the Karate Kid.

Those brown eyes.  Those blue tracksuit pants.  The soccer skills, on the field, on the beach.  The shower costume.  The black eyes and sheer defiance.  Not to mention all the waxing.... on and off....

Daniel/Ralph posters adorned my walls and my school books, feeding my daydreams about the day we would meet and he would realise that I was the only girl for him.....

I can't help it Rocky.  I give the Karate Kid a 10/10.  Thanks for the memories Ralph!


Read Rocky's review here.

How I adored this scene where Daniel shows off his football skills!

Friday, April 11, 2014

J Dear Rocky - Juno

Dear Rocky,

Juno is one of those films where it seems to me that every word spoken is perfectly chosen and placed.  Such intelligent writing.  Well done Diablo Cody.

The relationship I have chosen to focus on in this film is that between Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa (Jennifer Garner), probably for more reasons than one....

Here we have the stereotypical relationship between the controlling female and the boy who refuses to become a man.  I'm not sure whose side we are supposed to take, but I took Mark's.

Mark appears to have been castrated by Vanessa.  Gone are his dreams of being a serious musician and in their place are twin sets and nursery paint colours.  At times, she is positively cruel in her mocking of his ambivalence about parenthood.

But that's just it really.  What gives one human being the right to decide when another human being should be ready to reproduce?  Wouldn't it be wonderful if in every relationship that desire or readiness to have a child occurred at exactly the same time for both parents?  But how often does that actually happen?  How often is one partner coerced by the other before they are truly ready?  How does that turn out for couples?

In this movie, while Vanessa and Mark didn't make the distance, Vanessa did end up with Juno's baby and became a more likeable character for it.  Our initial sympathy for Mark is supposed to disappear when he almost crosses the line with Juno, but for me it didn't really.....

But, that's another relationship worth exploring in another post....

I give Juno an 8.5/10.

What about you Rocky?  Read Rocky's review here.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Dear Rocky - It's a Wonderful Life

If you're just tuning in, Rocky and I review movies on the Facebook Page Dear Rocky, Dear Jodie: The Actor and The Psychologist At The Movies.  Our A-Z blog challenge is to review the A-Z of movies!  Hope you love our choices and our reviews. 

Dear Rocky,

Can you even believe that it took me until now to see this wonderful movie?!  Thank goodness for this A-Z challenge and to you for choosing it in our list.

As you know, I've been choosing key relationships in our chosen movies to discuss from a psychological point of view.  In keeping with that them, I chose to do something else with It's a Wonderful Life.

The lure of this film for me is George Bailey's reflections on all of the lives he has touched, therefore making his life worthwhile and worth living.  For me, the perspective he gains seeing the people in his life and the quality of their lives without him in it, is akin to the perspective I gained when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I know that sounds weird and you're probably wondering how those things can be similar.  Let me explain.  Before I got sick, there were certain problems in my life, major and minor.  One of the major issues was my desire to have children and the worries I had for the purpose of my life if I didn't have a baby.

At around the same time this desire was growing in me, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  There's nothing like facing your mortality to give you a reality check!  Since coming through treatment with flying colours, I now am satisfied with life itself.  I no longer 'need' more, instead I count my blessings and am grateful for what I have.  Just like George Bailey!

This aspect of the film reminds me of The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.

This is one of my favourite books by my favourite author.  I love that the relationships identified as being life changing and important are those small and seemingly insignificant encounters that occur on a day-to-day basis.
It makes me think more about how I interact with the people with whom I come into contact everyday.  I try to slow down and be more considerate, not to rush on by without so much as a "hello, how are you?"
A gesture as small as that could mean the difference between a good and a bad day for someone.  Someone cared enough to look me in the eye and say hello today......  Who knows, it could have been the day they were considering ending their life because nobody cared.
I know this isn't necessarily a review of It's A Wonderful Life, but I hope it gets you thinking about how you'll treat the next person you see tomorrow.
I can't wait to read your thoughts Rocky - here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H Dear Rocky - The Hours

Dear Rocky,

I have a friend who points me in the direction of amazing literature.  He introduced me to Mrs Dalloway which I was to read first, followed by The Hours.  What an awesome way to do it.

Then came the movie.

Firstly, I think the author did a wonderful job linking the three female characters and telling the story of depression across generations, not only from the perspective of the person with depression, but also their loved ones.  The suffering is not isolated the person with the disorder.

The most striking relationship for me in The Hours is that between Ed Harris' character, Richard and his mother (Julianne Moore).

In adulthood, there seemed to be little relationship, but as a child, Richard was exposed to his mother's depression and suicidal ideation.  He observed her and absorbed her emptiness, especially in that harrowing scene where she left him with a babysitter, to go and end her life in a hotel room.  That little boy played that scene impeccably - acting as though he would never see his mother again.  How did he know...?

Luckily, or unluckily, I don't know, she did not end her life.  Instead she came and picked him up and went home and had birthday cake.

Fast forward to Richard as an adult, rich with friends and a successful career, dying of AIDS.

Why did he end his life?  Because there was no future for him?  Because he wanted some control in an uncontrollable situation?  Or because he was depressed?  Did he inherit that from his mother?  Did the environment he grew up in predispose him to depression?  Or was he depressed because he was terminally ill?

There is never only one answer to the question "what causes depression?"

I love this movie for everything it encapsulates.  I give it a 9/10.



Read Rocky's review here!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G Dear Rocky - Gone With The Wind

Dear Rocky,

Well, you don't get more classic than Gone With The Wind.  I saw it at the movie theatre on its 50th anniversary with my best friend Brett.  What an awesome experience to see it on the big screen.

Of all the relationships I could choose to analyse, I have chosen to write about Scarlett's relationship to Tara - her family plantation.

Along with Rhett Butler, Tara remained a constant in Scarlett's life - no matter where she was.

I wonder if most of us feel this way about our home.  No matter where we are.  And I wonder if in some way, we all long to go back.  Home.

Scarlett goes to great lengths to ensure Tara remains in her family.  She marries for money to save the plantation, works in the fields, fights, starves and even kills for it.  At the end of the movie, it's the thought of waking up at Tara the following morning that brings her peace amongst her pain, knowing that with her home, she has a solid foundation from which to live her life.

I have always felt a similar way for my family home, although it is the presence of my parents as opposed to the structure that draws me there.  Unfortunately for Scarlett, she didn't have the luxury of having her parents as I do.  But I can see the similarities.

I give it a 9.5/10 Rocky - after all, it is a little long!


Read Rocky's review here!

Monday, April 7, 2014

F Dear Rocky - Fried Green Tomatoes

Dear Rocky,

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café introduced me to Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy.  As a teenager in the 80's, I'd met Mary Stewart Masterson years earlier.

As you know, I was extremely close to my Nan, so stories of relationships with older people always tug at my heart strings.  This was no exception.

I also love the flashback, story telling method used so well in this movie.

I haven't read the book Fried Green Tomatoes, but I was surprised to read that in the book, the characters of Idgie and Ruth are lesbians.  This isn't so in the movie which was made in 1991.

I wonder what would happen if the movie was made in 2014?  Would they have followed the original story more closely, given society's attitude toward homosexuality has hopefully changed so much since 1991?

The relationship I'd like to discuss in this review is a bit different in that it's not a relationship from the movie, but more the relationship I have with one of the actresses - Kathy Bates.

Okay, to be fair, it probably can't be called a relationship with Kathy doesn't even know it exists.  Let me explain.  In 2012, while visiting New York, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Survivorship celebration.  The Key Note Speaker was Kathy Bates, discussing her experience with ovarian cancer.

Listening to her talk that evening changed my life.  For the first time in my cancer journey I felt understood.  The way she described her experiences with her body and with love after her treatment were so akin to my own experiences that I felt as though I had written her speech.

Her message was clear and has stayed with me every day since.  It has changed the way I view myself as a woman, as a person and it has also opened my mind to my future.

Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my all time faves.  I give it 8.5/10.

How about you?


Read Rocky's review here!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E Dear Rocky - Elizabeth

Dear Rocky,

Queen Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen - played immaculately in this film by Australia's own Cate Blanchett.

The relationship I'm most interested in here, is perhaps the fact that there is no relationship.

Elizabeth ended her relationship with Robert Dudley, after deciding that such a relationship could provide a man with too much power over her.  Instead, Elizabeth was "married to England" and asserted this until her death.

She had an interesting family history.  Father, Henry VIII, mother Anne Boleyn who was beheaded when Elizabeth was only two.  This makes me shudder when thinking about attachment theories.  Later raised by a step-mother, Elizabeth went on to become highly educated - fluent in six languages.

What I wouldn't give to have been able to meet her and analyse her core beliefs about the world, how it worked and how she fitted into it.

I can't help but wonder if her decision to not take a husband had a lot to do with losing her mother at age two and having  Henry VIII as a father.....

Cate's performance in this film was flawless and introduced her to an international stage - aren't you glad it did world?

I give this film an 8.5/10 only because I found it hard in places to follow what was happening historically.  I'd give everything about Cate a 10/10 though!

Your thoughts, Rock?


Read Rocky's Review here!

Friday, April 4, 2014

D Dear Rocky - Dead Poet's Society

Dear Rocky,

Talk about life changing movies.... When I first saw Dead Poet's Society at the ripe old age of 17, I was yet to know the ways in which it would influence my life over the years to come.

This relationship between Robin Williams' character, John Keating, and his students epitomises what I spoke of in my 'A' post, where a healthy adult relationship outside of the family home can resurrect a young person's self-esteem and allow them to develop a complete identity.

O Captain, My Captain

Of course, the main tragedy is the suicide of the Neil after his father denies him the opportunity to follow his dream to become an actor.  Feeling unable to assert his dreams for life, Neil ends it by shooting himself with his father's gun.

What ensues is an act of passing the blame and John Keating is fired from teaching at the school.  The establishment cannot understand his open-minded approach to nourishing his students' minds.

But at the very end, our faith in humanity is restored when the students stand up for him and let him know where their loyalty lay.

"O Captain, My Captain." they each said as they stood on their desks.

My hairs still stand on end even thinking about that scene.

This is becoming clichéd, but I have to give this film a 10/10.

As a fan of poetry, I know you'll love this one too Rocky!


Read Rocky's review here!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C Dear Rocky - Casablanca

Dear Rocky,

Well, we're certainly tackling a classic here!

Bogart and Bergman, Rick and Ilsa - this was an era that taught us to love like in the movies.  But is love the right word to use?

We see chemistry and we see passion, but both of those words also fit with lust.  Is there any intimacy?  "We said no questions."

And then the infamous lyrics:

A kiss is just a kiss,
A sigh is just sigh.

Is a kiss just a kiss when we are truly in love?

It seems that even though he wasn't technically our hero, Laszlo won the girl in the end and was able to share a deep, intimate and committed love with Ilsa.

Is this the message that Casablanca sends to us about love?  Passion and chemistry are not designed to be long-lived?   That true love requires more, evolving over time and enduring.... even through a war?

I could never criticize a classic Hollywood movie.  I love Casablanca and give it a 10/10.

Play it again,  Rocky?


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B Dear Rocky - The Bridges of Madison County

Dear Rocky,

Well, speaking of relationships, the chemistry between Francesca and Robert represents all of my dreams of true love.  Of course, it is easy to romanticize the best parts of a person over a short and perfect four day honeymoon, when everyday life is routine and beige.  But, the fact that at the end of his life, Robert maintained that Francesca was the love of his life, leaving her his camera and other belongings, was the tip of the love story iceberg.

How sexy is Clint Eastwood at any age, and how irresistible was Meryl's Italian accent.  I completely bought that attraction - in the bath, the kitchen, the truck..... the bridges... the bar....

I honestly believe in what they had and I cannot believe she didn't go with him.  When she had her hand on that door handle that day in the rain, my heart was in my throat.  How I wanted her to run to him.......

I understand that the children reading her diaries after her death told the story, but those children were spoilt brats and horribly miscast I think...... their take, especially the son's, was incredibly selfish, especially as adult children.....  I would have liked to have seen them more heartbroken for Meryl, I mean, Francesca, for all that she sacrificed for them and their father.


I love this film and never, ever tire of it.

I give it a 9.5/10 (because of those horrible kids!).

I know you're a romantic Rocky.  Can't wait to read your thoughts.


Read Rocky's review here!

Oh Robert!  My heart is breaking for you!!

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