They Shall Not Grow Old

Must Go
Peter Jackson and crew have managed to tell the story using the voices of real veterans recorded before they too stopped growing old. There is real truth in their voices, and their observations from many years later are sometimes startling, especially if you’ve never given the subject much time before. And even if you have, just hearing their story, in their voice, while watching the restored and enhanced footage around it is very memorable and incisive. I was drawn in by the lure of seeing the movement and faces of these kids turned cannon fodder in real time, in the real battlefields.
You do gasp when the screen turns to color. These men come to life. Even 100-years ago, people still turn and say ‘hello Mum’. But they are there rotten teeth and all. Toilet travails and brothel education stood out for me.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The film is about the real-life story of down and out of luck biographical author, Lee Israel. Her books aren’t doing well and she finds it hard to find inspiration. She can’t afford her rent or veterinarian care for her sick cat. She decides to forge letters signed and typed up by famous entertainment personalities. At first, she finds the scam to be lucrative but eventually the buyers become suspicious and the FBI gets involved.
This movie is not a comedy and the performers did a great job of capturing people who are not always made for this world. Melissa McCarthy gives an impressive performance as Lee Israel and Richard Grant is wonderful as her ne’er do well friend and accomplice, Jack Hock. I really liked the atmosphere and the ability to capture the grit and seediness of New York in the early 90’s.
I had never heard of Lee Israel, and Melissa McCarthy’s funny and often heartbreaking performance in this film has made me want to read her book that inspired this film and learn more about her. The screenplay has a wonderful way of portraying Israel and Jack Hock as criminals, but at the same time making them both very human and very vulnerable, each in their own way.