Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

10 May 2005


Yesterday I heard a very moving story on All Things Considered about adoption. I left Avjet around 5:30p and was just arriving at Hollywood and Highland when the story ended. So cool. I love that show. I was driving into Beverly Hills to see a film in the Academy's "Great to Be Nominated: Part Two" series. It's a selection of restored films (one for each year) that didn't in the Best Picture Oscar but got a Hell of a lot of nominations: The Grapes of Wrath, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 7th Heaven, The Song of Bernadette, etc.

Last night's film was Wilson, the only film in Part Two that I hadn't seen. It was about early Twentieth century prez Woodrow Wilson, he of WWI, the League of Nations, and the 40-hour work-week. And it was THREE HOURS LONG. I swear I thought dawn would be breaking when we all left that theater.

I want to say something brief about old people, since most of the audience at these Academy screenings is over sixty. Old people always are the first to arrive to things: they either have nothing to do anyway and so being early is relatively simple, or they have some sort of built-in resistance to tardiness that comes with retirement. Old people also want to sit on the aisles of a theater (usually because they want to be sure they can easily get up to go the bathroom during the feature). The combination of these two truisms is what I witnessed last night at the screening: a theatre all of whose aisle seats were filled first and whose center seats were cumbersomely filled much later. I looked out over the theatre and just laughed.

As for Wilson, I have a new respect for him and I have forgiven him for World War I, but I wouldn't recommend the feature--not that you'll have an opportunity to see it anyway. I've been actively trying to see the picture for a couple of years and this is the first opportunity I've had. It never plays on TCM and it's not on DVD.

Off to work. Cheers, y'all.