Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I hope that you have enjoyed the holiday weekend, if you live here in the US. The extra day gave us a little breathing room for a change, allowing us to have some fun as well as get some things done around the house and yard. My husband and I went a little crazy and ditched the Paleo diet for a few days (perhaps the result of my emotional downturn last week!) - we had burgers and fries from Five Guys on Friday (oh, those amazing fries!), ordered our favorite Pad Thai noodle dish at a Thai restaurant Saturday night, and ate real brownies that my youngest son made last night. We are trying to get back on track today!
One fun thing we did that was good for us, too, was to watch a couple of the movies that everyone's been talking about (better late than never!)
Friday night, we watched Monuments Men, starring, co-written by, and directed by George Clooney, with an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett. This movie focuses on a little-known but fascinating aspect of World War II: how a small group of art experts pulled together as a ragtag military group to recover some of the world's greatest works of art from the Nazis at the end of the war. It's a great story, and the talented cast is fun to watch. Our only complaint was that the tone is a bit uneven in the movie. It's a serious subject, of course - World War II - that Clooney approaches with a light hand. Some scenes are sad, there is plenty of suspense, especially toward the end, but many scenes in the movie have a humorous tone, with background music more suited to a Laurel & Hardy movie. It's an enjoyable movie - and a fascinating subject - but there are times when the light tone just doesn't feel right. But overall, I would still recommend it; we enjoyed it, and it was a fun history lesson.
Saturday night, we watched Argo, a movie set during the Iran Hostage Crises in the 70's and based on actual events that were only recently declassified. Ben Affleck stars as a CIA operative whose specialty is extracting people from dangerous situations. In the midst of the crisis, where over 50 U.S. citizens were taken hostage in the U.S. embassy in Iran by militant revolutionaries, six embassy employees escaped without notice and took refuge at home of the Canadian ambassador. For their own safety, the existence of the six was kept a secret from everyone except their families. After 60 days of not leaving the house, their situation was becoming more and more risky, as the Iranian militants began to figure out that some employees were missing. In desperation, Affleck's character, Tony Mendez, was called in, and he came up with a crazy idea: to pose as a Hollywood team scouting a new movie location in Iran and bring the six embassy employees home with him. It's an engrossing, frightening movie full of suspense (toward the end, I was yelling at the TV screen!). John Goodman and Alan Arkin co-star as a Hollywood special effects guy and producer, respectively, and are fabulous in their roles, bringing a needed touch of humor to the tense story. Truth really is stranger than fiction, and this exciting, unbelievable movie proves that. Highly recommended, if you don't have a problem with tension and suspense.