Tuesday, May 25

Book and Movie Review: The Soloist and Lit

Movie Review: The Soloist
Just saw this movie over the weekend and it was definitely worth renting. Jaime Foxx plays Nathaniel Ayers, a gifted musician who is schizophrenic and whose mental illness has led to his homelessness on the the streets of L.A. Robert Downy Jr. plays Steve Lopez, an award winning L.A. Times journalist who is looking for a story and seems to wander right into the path of Ayers...the two become friends and the movie is about the articles Lopez writes about Ayers and the relationship that develops between them.

The movie is a bit slow at times and I find the mental illness a bit hard to watch as it unfolds, but it is a good story. There were some really interesting "extras" on the DVD as well-- a short clip on homelessness in L.A. and how big of a problem it is, and some interviews with the real Ayers and Lopez.

Here is a link to one of Lopez' actual columns about Ayers- he is a very good writer and I am grateful to have discovered him through the movie.

Book Review: Lit, By Mary Karr

Just finished this book last week and I was sad to be done with it. Mary Karr is an exceptional memoirist. Her stories seem to transcend the "reality t.v." feel of some memoirs. At times I felt like I was reading a novel instead of an actual non-fiction account of one woman's life. I'm pretty sure this is her third memoir. Her first, The Liars Club, is about her very difficult childhood. Her second, Cherry, is about her teenage years and this third is about her college years, an unsuccessful marriage and her journey into becoming a mother which forced her to deal with issues connected to her own mother. She turns into an alcoholic along the way and eventually turns to God for answers..."Jesus with skin" as one of her AA mentors refers to the new supports systems in her life-- the people who help her battle her alcoholism and walk alongside her during some tough times. I love that phrasing, "Jesus with skin" and think we all need that type of help in our lives! A good read, especially if you like memoirs.

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