“Age of Adaline”

If you are looking for a movie that combines romance and a bit of scientific hocus pocus then “Age of Adaline” is my suggestion for some mindless fun.

The basic plot deals with what happened to Adaline at the age of 29.  She survives a near-death experience, with the result that she never ages.  In order to create a life for herself, she is constantly on the move trying never to connect with anyone.

Even though she tries not to fall in love, of course, she does.  The consequences will be life altering.0031398228080_p0_v2_s118x184.jpg

The film stars  Blake Lively as Adaline, Ellen Burstyn, as her daughter, and Harrison Ford as a former love.  Both Burstyn and Ford rise above the trite plot.

As the winter starts to get cold, “The Age of Adaline” might be a good escapist romantic film.

Shop on AmazonSmile, Support the Library

This #GivingTuesday, choose to support The Palisades Free Library with your Amazon.com purchases!
Just follow these simple steps:
  1. Start your purchase at www.smile.amazon.com.
  2. Sign in to your Amazon account and go to “Your AmazonSmile” under “Your Account Settings”.
  3. Search for the Palisades Free Library to select it as your benefiting organization.
  4. That’s it! Underneath your search bar you should see the statement: Supporting: Palisades Free Library.
A percentage of your purchase will be credited to the Library. There is no additional cost to your purchase. The trick is to remember to start at the www.smile.amazon.com address and not the regular http://www.amazon.com address.
Thank you in advance!

“The First Monday In May”

If your invitation got lost in the mail or you just didn’t have time to attend, here is your chance to get an inside look at the planning and the actual event:  the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala 2015.0876964009652_p0_v1_s118x184.jpg The moving force behind this elaborate charity happening is Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue.  Andrew Bolton, head of the Costume Institute at the Met, curated this show:  “China Through The Looking Glass.”  These two creative individuals and a staff of hundreds of people put together the most successful show at the Costume Institute.  If you have any doubt how important this event is at the Met take note that the Met is closed only a few days each year.  One of those days is the first Monday in May.

If you want a glimpse of the big name celebrities who attended and, of course, what these glamorous women wore, this documentary does not disappoint.

What is probably more interesting is the discussion of fashion as art.  Wintour, of course, believes that fashion is art and the film provides ample proof in explanations of how each piece in the show demonstrates artistic craftsman and beauty.

For those interested in fashion, art, and the activities of the rich and famous this film is an interesting glimpse into their world.

“Movie or book”

” A Hologram For The King,” written by Dave Eggers, was published in 2012.  A recent DVD release, it stars Tom Hanks as Alan Clay, a salesman for Reliant, an IT company.

Having seen and enjoyed the movie, I was left with some questions about the characters and the plot.  So, I read the book.

Alan Clay arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2010.  He is a divorced father of a college-aged daughter.  He is experiencing some serious person financial problems. The one that troubles him the most is his inability to pay for his daughter’s next semester at school.  Hopefully, this sales’ trip to Jeddah will make him solvent again.

His company has developed a holographic teleconferencing system.  He and his team of three young IT people will set up a demonstration at the King Abdullah Economic City and sell this innovation to the king.  Alan is confident that he will make the sale.

Suffering from jet lag, Alan oversleeps and misses the team van to the demonstration site.  After several tries, the hotel final engages a driver for him.  Yousef, a young Saudi, will become not only Alan’s driver but a friend.  Yousef will help Alan gain some insight into this foreign culture.

The trip to the KAEC takes more than an hour.  Alan and Yousef travel through miles of desert finally arriving at the KAEC, which consists of two buildings, a huge tent, and several half constructed buildings and lots and lots of sand.



What follows are days of waiting for the king to appear.  With so much time on his hands, Alan investigates the landscape, meets the king’s local staff , has a run-in with foreign workers, and is treated by a female Saudi doctor.

Whenever a book is made into a movie, there is always discussion about which was better:  the book or the movie?  In this case, the movie and the book are different in only minor ways.  The book does give the reader more information about Alan’s failed marriage and failed business dealings.  The movie gives you just enough detail to fill in the blanks about Alan’s need to make this business deal work.

Whether you read the book or see the movie, “A Hologram For The King” is very enjoyable.  Eggers’ novel paints an interesting picture of a developing Saudi Arabia and how an American IT guy tries to do business in this kingdom.  It has moments of humor, sadness, desperation, and self-discovery.  A good book and a good movie.



Literary editors can either be the bane of existence or much-beloved mentors to writers that they work with.  “Genius” is the story of a famous editor-writer partnership between Maxwell Perkins and Thomas Wolfe.  Starring Colin Firth as Perkins and Jude Law as Wolfe, the movie chronicles their meeting and their working relationship beginning in 1929.0031398233688_p0_v1_s118x184.jpg

Perkins was a well-established editor at Charles Scribner & Sons.  He was responsible for the success of, among others, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.  Wolfe’s first novel, “Look Homeward, Angel” had been turned down by almost all the big publishing houses, but Perkins saw in it what others did not.  The challenge facing Perkins was getting Wolfe to edit his more than one-thousand page opus.  Wolfe fought to include every single word.  It is only through Perkins’ relentless prodding that Wolfe relents.  As they continue to work together, this pattern continues.

The movie is a factual representation of the events depicted.  Nicole Kidman as Wolfe’s married lover and Laura Linney as Perkins’ wife are strong supporting players.  I really enjoyed “Genius.”  My only reservation is that a younger actor should have played the role of Wolfe, who is in his late twenties when the story begins.  As to who is the “genius” of the title, I guess that is open to the viewer’s opinion.