SUNDAY BLOG: La La Margolyes and Pink Wickets Posted on January 7, 2018 by annehailes in Anne Hailes Today // 0 Comments La La Land I was bored last night and when leafing through the programmes on my iPad I came on the film La La Land. Good, a bit of light relief apparently the film of the year, brilliant, up there with Rogers and Astaire. Well! It was rubbish. Obviously done on a shoe string as there were empty streets for the two young lovers to dance down and the whole thing seemed devoid of characters or character. I’m amazed to read reviews: ‘A love letter to Hollywood’s golden era’: ‘Ryan Gosling is not Fred Astaire nor is Amma Stone Judy Garland but they dazzle all the same’: ‘It’s hard to think of a 2017 movie that will leave you on a higher high’. The story was of a boy and a girl who kept bumping into each other until they fall in love, she a would-be film starlet and he a jazz pianist. She wanted to get a break and become a movie star, he wanted his own jazz club. Although they loved each other their ambitions won the day and they followed their heads rather than their hearts. He got his club, she got her stardom, a husband and a child and when they meet at a session in his club after five years, although only their eyes met across a crowded room, they realise what they missed out on. And that was the end. Hardly uplifting and certainly not a Hollywood block buster. But then, like everything else, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Then we come to Miriam Margolyes. A quirky character who glories in her eccentricity. She describes herself as a ‘fat little Jewish girl’ who has no interest in looking attractive or acting with gay femininity. That became obvious when she was one of a quartet of celebrities on tour of Thailand in the Marigold tours series; I started off liking her before she became both rude and disrespectful to everyone and took a delight in farting loudly in public and talking about her bodily functions. Funny first time but not all the time, I went off her big time. Miriam with Then along comes Miriam’s Big American Adventure, episode one. The actor proved to be a brave interviewer first of all partying amongst the young entrepreneurs of Chicago. Her host rich and well connected, one time Playboy bunny turned socialite Candace Jordan (above) dressed her and took her to a French hairdresser and she looked lovely. Then she travelled under armed guard to the other side of the track where she talked to young black men in the most dangerous part of the city. Although she’d been tarted up for the first encounter and looked very attractive, she was her dishevelled self in the second and the tough gun toting young men took to her and her direct questioning. ‘Margolyes cut a gloriously incongruous figure,’ said the blurb. “Yet this inveterate talker also proved an engaged listener as young black men, frozen out of the American Dream, articulated their frustrations and fears.’ She was horrified by what she heard. Everyone in that part of town had lost someone to gun crime and CP (above), an ex-gang member told her just how impossible it was to live a normal life, how he couldn’t stray out of his small area or he would be blasted off the face of the earth. Minutes later, she was hustled into her car by security because there was a fatal shooting. “If I lived in this place I would be murdered,” she mused, “because I can’t keep my bloody mouth shut.” Finally, she met José, a Congolese man who was primed for his citizenship ceremony. ‘Sceptical about why anyone would want to live in a country whose leader is so splenetically opposed to immigration, Margolyes was won over by José’s wide-eyed optimism and the rite of citizenship itself, as patriotic pride was tempered by talk of collective and individual responsibility.’ The next episode is Wednesday at 9 o’clock which clashes with Girlfriends on ITV so thank goodness for catchup. Thanks to Houston Marshall. Houston’s comment following last week’s blog was worth reading. I appealed to our ‘leaders’ to make an effort, get off their comfortable over stuffed cushions, to get together and make it work, if not for our generation then for those young people who are members of a global society and who want to be proud of Northern Ireland and what we can achieve working together. Nelson Mandela “A fascinating blog this week with lots to think about,” writes Houston. “I have been thinking a lot recently about Nelson Mandela and his advice about Northern Ireland. He said we had to learn the same lesson South Africa did before they moved forward. He said our politicians will never progress as long as they are looking for what they can gain. He said talks could only begin when each side accepted that every side had to lose something to enable them to sit down and talk. He said true harmony happened when everyone accepted that they had to give up something and not be on the make trying to get something over on their opponents. He says all sides in South Africa accepted they had to give up something and became unified in their lose.” That’s so difficult when it comes to power and possession. Takes big people with big ideas and I’m afraid we don’t have those big people yet. If you can believe what you hear, maybe 2018 will bring forward wise thinking men and women, hopefully young and idealistic ready to share the wondrous things we have here on this blessed island. Cricket Lovely Cricket I’ll miss the Ashes Cricket coverage from Australia once the series is over and lost! When you just can’t sleep the commentary and the quips fill in time and it’s all rather exciting. Having once played ladies cricket for Ulster, highlight being against Yorkshire Ladies, I have a special non-playing interest! I was well known for my spectacular dropped catches. One of the nice things that happened in Australia one day (night for us) last week was the annual fund raising for fast bowler Glenn McGrath’s cancer charity in memory of his wife. Players presented their pink caps duly signed by Australia and England players, spectators wore pink and even the stamps are pink.