This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sometimes stopping is the most important part of the journey...

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to travel, especially internationally. It’s just the getting there that can sometimes test my patience. Like flying to New Zealand, with a HUGE 747 -- I’m in a plane that’s traveling what, 950 miles per hour (??), and it still takes nearly 14 hours to get there from Los Angeles! Mostly, I was flying over ocean which just points out how much ocean there really is! It’s unimaginable!!

Fourteen hours on a plane is no cup of tea, but Air New Zealand made it as comfortable as humanly possible and, in fact, did offer tea ( and complimentary wine!) I’d dare to say that it was one of my best airline experiences to date.

Even saying that, however, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was very excited to get OFF the plane. I think I speak for all airline passengers when I say that. No matter how comfortable your airline passage has been, you can’t wait to get off the damn plane! Maybe that’s why everyone jumps out of their seat simultaneously once the plane touches down and the pilot turns the seatbelt sign off.

One of the pluses to international flights on Air New Zealand was their amazing entertainment system! Every seat had a TV screen and a detachable remote control embedded into the arm rest. With the touch of a button, one could choose from a mega-load of music options (entire CDs), TV shows, and tons of movies from all genres. Flip the remote control over and it becomes a game controller so you can play games ( like Tetris!) on the plane and even create personal play lists from the music selections. The sophistication of airline entertainment amazed me to such a degree that I killed off at least an hour of my flight time playing Tetris and deciding which movie I wanted to watch.

On the way back from New Zealand, I was dismayed thinking that all the discoveries of my trip were now over…until I came across the film, SNOW CAKE. It started off quirky – right up my alley. An enthusiastic, ragamuffin of a girl named Vivienne Freeman, succeeds in bumming a ride with the depressed and recently released ex-con, Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman). It sounded like the beginnings of a typical Lifetime "abduction movie", BUT I stuck with it...

At first glance, it seemed rather unlikely that these two would get together, but the film has a way of pulling you in... Just about the time that Alex seems to warm up to Vivienne’s sometimes annoying friendliness… something drastic happens.

Alex’s guilt forces him to track down Vivienne’s mother to apologize. At first, Linda Freeman ( Sigourney Weaver) seems to have a very detached reaction to the loss of her daughter. However, one look closer and it’s discovered that there’s something special about Linda. She is a highly-functioning autistic woman with an amazing enthusiasm for life. In the truest sense, it was Vivienne who was her mother's caretaker as much as she was a daughter and friend.

Snow Cake explores the ensuing friendship that develops between Linda and Alex as they prepare to formally say goodbye to Vivienne, the vivacious girl who touched them both. It’s a film that is as much about life as it is about death.

Through Linda, Alex rediscovers the wonderment of life and nature in its most basic forms. Linda is not looking for apologies nor is she giving them. She’s just herself and that’s all she needs to be. Snow Cake teaches us that forgiveness is far more powerful an emotion to achieve than anger and even when faced with tragedy, we all have the capacity to move forward in our own lives.

Above: Linda and Alex play Scrabble ( another one of my favorite games ), but they play by Linda's rules which means you can use made-up outlandish words - as long as you can use the word in a sentence. Yes, Balderdash meets Scrabble... why didn't I think of that?

Linda Freeman: Have you ever had an orgasm, Alex?
Alex Hughes: It has been known.
Linda Freeman: It sounds like an inferior version of what I feel when I have a mouthful of snow.
[shoves some into her mouth]

Directed By: Marc Evans
Written By: Angela Pell
Cast: Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Hampshire
Release date: April 27, 2007

No comments:

Post a Comment