Monday, January 24, 2005

On the box
‘Island at War’
Based on the true story of a corner of Britain that the Germans invaded and occupied during World War II. Knew somebody at college — a full-fledged young fogey when I was just getting started — who was from there.

Seems like an accurate re-creation of the period — I admit I love the quaintness — and it’s got all the makings of good drama: plucky, good-hearted English v. suitably loutish Germans.

‘Hey, Betty Grable! Got my number?
Pennsylvania 6-5-oh-oh-oh!’
Compared to what Soviet troops* did to German women that’s nothing.

What I wonder, though, is if the neocons would watch this and have their view reinforced of Airstrip One as their quaint, witty, ineffectual (as the old bailiff of the island is) sidekicks: Mini-Me to their Dr Evil as cartoon character Marge Simpson has described the Special Relationship. (The part Brits play in American movies when they’re not being bad guys for Disney or George Lucas.)

The complete lack of French only a generation removed from when it was spoken there also fascinated me. The islands are actually nearer to France than to England and the people once spoke a strange archaic Germanic-accented version of it which some people are trying to bring back. They were part of Normandy to begin with and the Normans originally were Vikings, which explains the strange sound Jèrriais had. (Like ths where rs are in modern français.)

Technically the islands aren’t part of the UK and are under the Sovereign as ‘Duke of Normandy’ as they are the last Norman lands the Crown claims.

And moving downmarket:

Bridget Jones’s Diary
Mediocre** — see Renée Zellweger in Nurse Betty instead with the great Morgan Freeman — and no, she didn’t master the accent but she’s even hotter when she has put on weight to play the part.

So... she’s cute, sexy and having it off with Hugh Grant and one is supposed to feel sorry for her?

*Who were, after all, the good guys — our father among the saints FDR said so.

**It might be based on Jane Austen and I don’t like that either.

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