In a house of wild things…

Somewhere between Christmas, my MIL’s 70th, Oscar’s hospital stay, New Years, my back breakage and being BACK at hospital with Oscar and huge weeping blisters on his legs (sorry, had I mentioned that?) but before yesterday, we watched Where the Wild Things Are and well, quite frankly, it seems to have done something to my brain.

It is a book I, when I remember to can be bothered to  read to the boys before they go to bed, return to time and time again. It got shelved for a while because it freaked the hell out of Grover, a situation I found deeply ironic for the kid who calls everyone IDIOT! or poobumheadidiotbaby and will quite happily give a stranger smiling at him the dirtiest stink-eye while raising fists at anyone who so much as mutters ‘no’ in his general vicinity and WOE BETIDE if you threaten to remove the mouse from the computer.

Still we return to it.

And then there is the movie. I’m tempted to call it a masterpiece, for how it encapsulates so purely the extreme black and white confusion of childhood emotion. Of how complicated and endearing and flawed every single one of the characters is. Of their purity in what they represent. And of this boy, this boy trying to find his way and his place in the world.

It is innocent, funny, bone-crushingly sad, dangerous, foreboding, joyous and full of life.

It has left me with something, an ache is what it is. And that, to me, is how this movie feels, it feels like it’s aching.

Douglas: Will you keep out all the sadness?
Max: I have a sadness shield that keeps out all the sadness, and it’s big enough for all of us.

Being a person is so complicated.



Have you seen it? What did you think of it? Is there a movie that has stuck with you as this one has me?





A post sponsored by Nuffnang


Do you remember the first movie you ever saw at the cinema? Mine was Star Wars, not bad eh. I was five, Dad was taking my brother and I BEGGED to go too. My main memories from it was how big the cinema was, how dark and cold it was as the lights went down and how LOUD it was. I imagine this was not George Lucas’s intent as far as memory goes but there you have it.

As time went on and I saw more movies – always a very special experience as a child – there was always that sense of wonder and awe at what I saw. Of being transported. A very early viewing was Dot and the Kangaroo  and then  Little Boy Lost. I cried in Little Boy Lost and I remember my aunt turning to me and chastising me for doing so. I choose to focus on the power of film to make a six-year-old cry rather than the surly aunt.

For fear of coming over all ‘back in my day’ there is something to be said about movies from my childhood versus movies from my children’s childhood. My recollection is that there was always an element of fantasy. That even if it was based in reality there was still an element of magic, of stretching the truth, of fantasy.

Which brings me to Hugo. OH man, I ADORED this movie. A.DORED. It is the story of a boy, Hugo, who lives in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. I KNOW. His life is precarious, fragile and solitary until a connection is made and a mystery unravelled. It is intoxicating. In the clip I’ve embedded below, Martin Scorsese – let’s call him Marty –  talks about film being magical but based in reality. That pretty much sums it up.

There’s a lot of film geek guff going on about it being in 3D and apparently James Cameron (you know, Titanic) said it was a masterpiece and the best use of 3D he’s ever seen. Who am I to argue and I’ve really been quite dismissive of the whole 3D experience (as @AnIdleDad once said, while you still have to wear glasses to see it 3D is dead to him) and I am totally talking through my arse to comment upon it, I do think the 3D component of it adds something to the depth of the film, the richness of the cinematography. It’s less about things jumping out at you and more about drawing you in to the world it portrays.

As it’s directed by Marty let’s be frank, it was destined by become an instant classic. The Golden Globes are on in a week and its nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score.



Hugo is played by Asa Butterfield, the actor who played Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I can not express adequately how incredible he is.

Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Bruno, Borat) plays the Station Inspector. I’m not sure if his appalling attempt at a French accent is meant to be ironic or for comedic effect but man, it’s b.a.d.

Below is Marty talking about the movie, Part 1 is more about the role of 3D and the decision process he underwent to use it (his 12-year-old daughter and her friends asked if it would be), this part is more about the story itself:


But enough about me, did Chef enjoy it? Did the BOYS enjoy it? Is ‘yes’ with a shoulder shrug an answer?

This really is about storytelling of old with the modern wonders of 3D. It unravels a mystery through telling the history of cinema. It’s a film about a boy but does that necessarily make it a film for children? Yes and no. All four of mine watched it WITHOUT the aid of popcorn, chips, drinks, chocolate or any other bribe. Grover (4) was the only one who got obviously restless. So yes, I would say that the cinematography is that visually intoxicating it will capture a child – be it an older (as in school age) or at least a thoughtful one.

I think it now stands as the movie to show children that all cinema is not action! and drama! and more action! That they can slow down and think in a movie. That there is more to be transfixed in a movie. Surely that is a wonderful thing.


I’ve got three double passes to give away. Leave a comment on one of the first movies you ever saw and how it affected you to be in the running.

It’s in cinemas from 12 January 2012.


My thoughts on Transformers 3


1. Steven Spielberg was back on board and involved in this one (compared to Transformers 2 where he let Michael Bay make a complete fist of it) and you can tell. That man does chest beatingly patriotic outlandish action movies with characters you fall for every.single.time.

2. There are cameos by John Malkovich and Frances McDormand which are just too good. John Malkovich is just a genius and his work here is just further evidence thus.

3. I’m reckon it could have been even better if they got just a little bit more collagen into Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s top lip. No really.

I know Megan Fox let the fame go to her ego but she is sorely missing in this one. Sadly she is the weakest link in the whole thing. Can’t act for shite, just moves through the movie in a series of Tyra-esque f.i.e.r.c.e. poses, somehow managed to keep high-heels on for all of it, not one speck of dirt on her after the climactic action sequences (at least Megan got dirty) and I do believe she was wearing jeggings. THE.END.

4.   How can it be possible for me to feel so much love for a Prime Mover? Oh Optimus Prime you noble noble big rig you. And Bumble Bee. Well, you had me at whatever that first coddled together from various popular tv programs and radio shows phrase you uttered you adorable shiny yellow fast transforming car of goodness you.

5. I would have doubted it but apparently Josh Duhamel can actually get better looking. I mean, COME ON:

Seriously. He gets around in this black garb that appears to have leather arms on a black woollen body. It should make him look poxy but instead all I could imagine was just how good it would look on my bedroom floor.

I mean, it’s criminal isn’t it? Surely. And while we’re here let’s just take a moment with Tyrese Gibson. You see – you can have hot guys who have good dialogue and do awesome things like jump out of planes with awesome batwing suits on, can rally the troops and SAVE.THE.WORLD. Maybe they couldn’t have Rosie say too much for fear her lips might explode?



My thoughts on Babel

1. Most annoying movie soundtrack ever.

2. Brad Pitt is still hot.

3. I never want to be in a crisis situation with a busload of American tourists.

4. I will never understand the cultural love of karaoke.

5. There’s one of those movie endings which you change in your head, thereby convincing yourself you’ve not seen all of the movie until it ends and you realiza no, you have seen it, it was just so dissatisfying the first time your brain tried to erase it.

Stuff and nonsense

So I’ve spent hours today trying to work out why Facebook won’t feed my blog posts to my Facebook page. Apparently it is all to do with white space in the PHP cadsk;lfjhalw;erubgvj;aruvn SORRY, what?


All those hours I could have been jogging. Or eating. Or baking. Or playing with my children. Or dealing with Jasper’s lisp. Or maybe doing some pre-kindy work with him because dudes, I’m not sure that little sprogget even knows his alphabet.

See what happens when you have many children?

Just be grateful you’ve got clean clothes and there are cruskits in the cupboard kid, the rest you can work out along the way.



Apparently one of my Aunts took offence at me setting up Team Oscar and asking people for money. (She got wind of it as a lifetime ago she asked to be my friend on Facebook and I sent an alert out to everyone about my Team Oscar page. See what I did there! SO manipulative. Beware shonks and fly-by-nighters just out the fleece you!). Eugh. You know how there is always one who confirms your worst thoughts about something you’re doing? That it’s going to be misconstrued? Yeah. She hit that bulls-eye.


So I go and visit the Facebook page and see something wonderful-kids who go/went to school with Oscar have ‘liked’ the page.

Faith restored.


Last week we had a few of Felix’s friends over for the day. Talk about delightful boys. I think there’s a lot to be said for 10 year old boys – for all the signs of getting their emo on they are still little boys and easily delighted. It was a lovely day of hanging out, looking after guinea pigs, some putt putt golf and plying them with Anzac biscuits and home made pizzas.

The upside? Meeting their mums and discovering they too are lovely. Score!

The downside? Felix running in and breathlessly exclaiming that Grover, aka The Turdinator and now known as PeeMan had weed on one of Felix’s friend’s leg.


And there it was. In all it’s free stream glory across the bottom of his jeans.


Oh man did I tear shreds off him over that one.

Fast forward to later that day and he comes back down to the lounge with his pants in hand telling me in a singsong voice that he did a wee and some got on his hand so he tasted it and it was yum and mum can you put my pants back on NOW pease zankyu.

Hold me.


We took the boys to see Tangled (thanks to a pass from Nuffnang) and wow, what a delightful movie. It’s sort of old school with singing and dancing and a princess and blah blah blah but without any of the cynicism and sarcasm in so many kids movies these days. Listen to me. Just slap me in a mumu and serve me dinner at 5.

But seriously, it was more Cinderella and Snow White than Shrek and it was all the better for it.

Mum took the little boys to see Yogi Bear today and said it was all over the shop – there was a love story going on and some sort of conniving office politics to try and destroy the forest peppered with the funny Yogi flying planes and stealing picnic baskets. As mum said, the former just went over the little boys’ heads while the rest they loved. I wonder if it would have been better for just trying to be one thing rather than many.


Winners! Congratulations to Von and Pamela for winning a free pass for four to Tangled thanks to Disney and Nuffnang – I hope they enjoy it as much as we did (even if Felix did say, well, it wasn’t very boy-ish).