The Lovely BonesLast week was quite hectic for me and this week isn’t looking much better. The reason is of course that my pre Leaving Cert exams start next week, bright and early on Monday morning with English Paper One. It seems I am destined to go on a rant about the bad state of the education system in this country – apologies in advance. Then again there’s not really much point in complaining is there? Think about it: There’s about three months left until the exams proper and after that I will attempt to outdo even Mel Gibson with my cries of FREEDOM!!!!

So in fact there’s only one thing educationy that I intend to complain about. And that is of course the Irish course. As was kindly brought to my attention earlier in the week, a new Irish course will be introduced for the then 4th year students. What annoys me beyond measure is the “dumbing-down” of schooling and education for those coming after us. Not only has the significance of the oral exam been pushed to 40% but history of Irish has been sidelined altogether and with no substitution. In addition student will now have a choice between Higher Level poetry and a set text like the (in)famous “Peig” or the drama “An Triail.” I’m beginning to understand those old folks when they knowingly shake their heads at the younger generations.

Last weekend my wait finally ended with the theatrical release of “The Lovely Bones” adapted by Peter Jackson from the Alice Sebold novel. Me being my procrastinating self decided on a whim to buy and read the book five days earlier. However I am glad to say the outcome was wholly positive because when watching the film I was confronted by one of those familiar the-book-is-better-than-the-movie moments. Perhaps this is a little harsh and credit must be given to Jackson and his fellow screenwriters Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh as their adaption is quite an intelligent one. The complex source material is confidently handled and the casting is pitch perfect. What struck me was the lack of character development, in particular those played by Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz: Their separation is hurried and we never get under their skin in the detailed manner the novelist does. And as I was leaving the theatre I couldn’t help but think that if a viewer wasn’t familiar with the book then it may seem a very strange story.

Still, it was an enjoyable (if slightly depressing) viewing. And I’m excited that Stanley Tucci got an Oscar nomination for his performance of Mr. Harvey. He looks so suspiciously like the stereotypical creep it’s not even funny! Anyway, I’ll doubt he’ll win because there is certain Christoph Waltz standing in his way.

Intend to talk a little bit about the Oscars in my next post!

Until then, all the best!

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