And while I'm in an area of great natural beauty and just spent the day in Brussels, which is as beautiful as you would expect any city built on the blood, bones, tears and gold of 20 million Congolese to be, the pictures I'm most excited about putting up are of my new Campers sandals. I had to throw the old ones out just before I left because they were stinky and coming apart after four years of nearly constant wear, and it broke my heart. My new "Helena Alta Bombay Negros" have mended my heart. Voilà.
I have seen some movies on planes recently, coincidentally all starting with "The," and would like to quickly produce mini-reviews before they all fade from my consciousness:
1. The Prestige. Well enough acted, though I remain unconvinced Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman aren't both made out of particularly attractive pieces of driftwood- the ladies, Michael Caine, and a David Bowie cameo made up for it. Great twists from Christopher Nolan, who did Memento and whose twists I enjoy.
2. The Departed. Not much good to say, outside of it being better than Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence. A spectacularly well-cast bit of formulaic fluff that can only be explained as coming from the director of Mean Streets on the basis of cocaine's deleterious properties. And there wasn't nearly enough fucking Mark Wahlberg.
3. The Queen. I would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly if I didn't have an internal conviction it was a House of Blair/House of Windsor snowjob production timed to help us ignore all the Labour scandals and the fact Diana's brakes were greased. Helen Mirren was a treat.