Pizza and a Movie: Lady in the Van

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Black Olives
  • Pineapple
  • 1/2 Italian Sausage, 1/2 Jalapeños

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Movie:

Lady in the Van

Just one thing to mention about the pizza: I wanted pineapple, he wanted jalapeños, and this is what we came up with. Some people love jalapeños on a pizza. I don’t.

Now, for the movie. I found this film disturbing, and not very entertaining.

I love Maggie Smith in (almost) anything, and I adore her in Downton Abbey. The best part of this movie was her performance. But the story (billed as “mostly true”) didn’t do it for me. Because of that, and because her character is so different (mentally, and in other ways) in Downton Abbey, it was difficult for me to watch Maggie Smith in this role.

I wondered, afterward, what parts of the story weren’t true, and what parts were left out. If you see it, I think you’ll know what I’m talking about.  The treatment of the (real and fictional) lady in the van’s mental illness was terribly unsatisfying for me. Watching the film was like trying to solve a puzzle without all the pieces. And I don’t like that kind of puzzle, anyway.

I’ll be watching the Oscars this weekend, and I don’t believe Lady in the Van has been nominated for anything. Some people, I’ve heard, loved this film, and the performances.

To each his own.

Pizza and a Movie: Brooklyn

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Arugula
  • Feta Cheese
  • Italian Sausage

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Movie:

Brooklyn

It happened.

Last week, we (inadvertently) chose a combination of 3 toppings for our pizza (see: Bridge of Spies) that we had already had in the past year. My husband, who is keeping track of our combinations (and wants us to exhaust all possible ones, eventually), was displeased, because now we’ve chosen that combo twice.

Oh, well. Pas grand-chose.

Anyway, this week, he insisted on arugula, saying we’d hardly had it much, so whatever else we chose, it ought to be a new combination. I selected Feta Cheese, and, looking for a meat, we agreed on Italian sausage.

The combination was a bit bizarre, but still good. You feel like you’re eating a (pizza) salad, kind of, when arugula is on top. But what the heck.

The film was very good – I would even say it makes my top 5 for the year, or top 3. Like Bridge of Spies, it was set in the 1950s, and the story was captivating. I liked the scenes crossing the Atlantic, and on Ellis Island, which I’ve never visited, but which one of my sons recently did. I loved the scenes at the beach, and the outfits. And I loved hearing the Irish accents, and just watching the story unfold.

There’s a good amount of conflict in the movie, and some people who aren’t very nice. We discussed some of the film’s aspects on the short drive home, and I had to invoke a bit of “willing suspension of disbelief,” but not a whole lot. For example:

“Why would (or wouldn’t) she have said/done/not said/not done this? Or that?”

(If you go see the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

All in all, though (to borrow an expression from Mademoiselle‘s post cards), this is a treasure of a movie – no matter what you’re looking for.

 

 

Pizza and a Movie: The Intern

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Capers
  • Italian Sausage
  • Portobellos

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Movie:

The Intern

Before choosing this movie, I looked over some of the reviews. Some people liked it, and some didn’t think it was that great. But when I read a little about the story, and saw that someone said it was a funny, enjoyable film and “even my husband liked it,” I knew we had to go.

We both liked this movie, and we laughed out loud a lot. No silliness or crude humor here – just wit, funny situations, and poignant moments. It was an entertaining film, and you really can’t go wrong with Robert De Niro, at any age.

The “intern” – De Niro – is determined to learn (and keep up with) technology and other changes in today’s working world. My husband and I related to more than a few things about his character, “Ben Whittaker.” One was the number of throw pillows on his bed (“I was married for a really long time,” he said). Another was the age that Ben and his wife had met. My husband and I met at the same age.

Which brings me to the pizza we ordered. My husband wanted to choose capers as one of the toppings. “We’ve only had them once, since I’ve been keeping track,” he said.

“Okay,” I said, then selected the other two toppings, to which he quickly agreed. Then I brought up a subject we’ve discussed countless times: the things we never did, had, or experienced when we were growing up.

“I don’t think I ever had capers when I was a kid,” I said. “In fact, I know I didn’t.”

“Me, neither,” he said.

“Did anybody? I mean, could you order them on a pizza back then?”

“Probably not,” he said. Then, being the chef in the family, he added, “I don’t think I had them until I ordered Chicken Picata at an Italian restaurant. And that was after we were married.”

“That was another thing we never had, growing up,” I said.

Then we chatted about some of the many things we didn’t have (because they didn’t exist), yet never missed. Cell phones. Smartphones. Answering machines. Voicemail. Computers. The Internet. Email. Texting. Google. GPS. Social Media.  Internships.

Like Ben in The Intern, we did have other things that today’s young adults neither miss nor want. Rotary phones. Phone Booths. Phone BOOKS. * Ashtrays. Encyclopedias. Handwritten letters, sent in the mail. Paper maps. Typewriters.

Because, when you meet as young as we did – and stay together as long as we have – you see a lot of changes.

* something Ben has lots of experience with in the film

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza and a Movie: The Gift

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Italian Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Mushrooms
  • Bacon
  • Green Peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic

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Movie:

The Gift

Yes, that’s 7 toppings, not just 3; we went off the page (or, to the bottom of it) this time, and ordered a Specialty Pizza called “The Upper Crust.” It was very good – and colorful.

Then we went to see the film, a suspense that, at times, seemed to borrow from Hitchcock. I was on the edge of my seat (literally) during most of it, and was thankful I had someone’s arm to grab (my husband’s). It was so scary that once or twice I even had to remind myself, This is a movie! It’s not real!

Maybe I liked it because I write thrillers. Or maybe because it was super suspenseful, and was well done. Perhaps both. In any case, if you like that kind of thing, I think you’ll like this film. The bad guy was very bad, and in my opinion, he got what he deserved.

One thing that intrigued me was the title. There were several gifts in The Gift – I didn’t count them up, but like our pizza toppings that night, there were more than 3. Let me put it this way: every time someone opens up one of them, brace yourself.

And make sure you have somebody’s arm to grab.

 

 

 

 

Pizza and a Movie: Spy

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Feta Cheese
  • Italian Sausage
  • Shallots

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Movie:

Spy

You may have noticed that my movie titles are getting shorter. (I can’t imagine a shorter one than this week’s selection.)

Spy was a good film, and very funny. Yes, it was a bit raunchy and had a lot of profanity, but even so, I thought the dialogue was great: well written and well delivered. There were so many funny lines (evoking laughs from the audience) that sometimes I missed the next (probably funnier) line, because I couldn’t hear it above the laughter. The physical humor was also funny, and I didn’t find it over the top. The story was entertaining, and unlike last week’s film, the movie didn’t dissapoint.

If you want to laugh a lot and you don’t mind bad words and silliness, go see it. I thought one of the supporting characters was even funnier than the star of the film.

Now for the pizza. I chose feta, and my husband chose the other two toppings. It worked out fine (even though we had Italian sausage another time, recently), but we agreed that next time, we ought to go for a vegetarian pizza, and make sure at least one topping is green. When I suggested arugula, my husband had a lukewarm reaction – but I have a week to work on him.

Speaking of working on him, our wedding anniversary is coming up later this month (as it happens, on a Friday). I’m sure that over the years, we’ve negotiated quite a bit about decisions, big and small – probably, tons more times than there are pizza topping combinations at Corner Pizza (click on above tab Pizza and a Movie for more about that number). However, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that many times.

Because, I’ve found that if you keep a sense of humor about things (and if you can laugh together), that’s way more important than getting exactly what you think you want, all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza and a Movie: Woman in Gold

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Italian Sausage
  • Red Onion

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Movie:

Woman in Gold

This week, I made the pizza topping choices and the movie selection. I’d read a little about the movie and wasn’t sure I would like it. But normally, when there’s art in a film, I do.

For example:

  • Big Eyes
  • The Monuments Men
  • Ocean’s Twelve (I think that was the one about art, and not Eleven or Thirteen, but I like both of those)
  • and even My Left Foot.*

I also usually like movies about World War II (too many to list, but The Monuments Men is one of those, too.)

And you can’t go wrong with Helen Mirren.

The story was engaging, and I loved the courtroom scenes. As a bonus, one of my favorite actresses from Downton Abbey popped in as a judge (although not on the Supreme Court).  It was based on a true story, something I always find intriguing. I’m not a fan of time travel in movies (or books), but I do like flashbacks, and in Woman in Gold, the scenes set in Austria when the main character was young were powerful and emotional.

And the pizza was great!

*What are some other movies about art or that have works of art in them?

 

 

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