Hello all

Today I have slept in. It felt so decadent to do so. After that, to show I really knew how to do nothing much,  I got up and watched a movie. In between, I drank ginger tea and pottered around. Then, I had a soak in my bath. Decadence to die for.

You see, I am learning to breathe … as in take deep breaths and relax instead of feeling uptight because I’m trying to do too much. I realised how important the idea of DEEP BREATHING was after finishing my Book Club book for June “The King’s Speech” by Mark Logue (the grandson of Lionel Logue, the man who helped King George VI to speak without stammering).

I am sure you have all seen (or heard) of the movie The King’s  Speech? The secret for the King was all in the breathing it seems … deep breathing that is. The book, which draws on quotations from Lionel’s letters and diaries, shows just how close the relationship was between Lionel and the King. It’s a great story and it goes into more detail than the movie is able to do.

gatsbyBut, back to the business at hand: I was feeling a little sorry for myself today as I’ve had a sort of cold since yesterday. I thought I should just take it easy (and breathe) instead of racing off to the monthly movie and coffee morning at our local cinema, to see the movie The Great Gatsby.

Oh, it was so hard not to go! I have been longing to see this movie, not necessarily for the acting (it has had mixed reviews on that score) but to see all those beautiful clothes that the women wore during the 1920’s. In fact, I heard a negative review of the movie on breakfast radio this morning and instead of the review putting me off, it made me want to go and see the movie even more … just so I could decide for myself!

The reviewer was saying that the actors were dull and boring who showed no emotional connection to the audience. One caller rang in to say that the characters were ‘dull and boring’ in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 book (from which the movie is taken). This is how Fitzgerald wrote the characters! The reviewer defended himself by saying “But I haven’t read the book.”

Oh dear, Mr. Reviewer, you need to do better than that … be sure of your facts first!! Clearly, I am now going to have to read the book The Great Gatsby as soon as possible. To be fair to the reviewer, he thought he should read it as well. Good … I am pleased!

Baz Luhrmann behind the scenes directing

Baz Luhrmann behind the scenes directing

However, I read today that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book did not sell a great deal of copies when it first came out in the twenties and was not considered the great success that it is today. It was during the second World War that the book came into its own and became so successful … but poor old Fitzgerald wasn’t alive to see it unfortunately.

And now, the iconic Australian Producer and Director Baz Luhrmann, who made the film, is being criticized for the costumes in the movie which some think do not fully convey the period of the twenties. Here is part of what I read:

Self-appointed protectors of the novel and your “history buff” neighbor will swear Luhrmann gets it wrong, but there is no “wrong” in an interpretation, old sport. And I know that Luhrmann’s camp cared about the historical details, because as an academic who writes about Fitzgerald-era fashion, I sat in a room with production designer Catherine Martin. She asked me pointed questions about period clothing. “Would Gatsby’s tie have been this fabric or this fabric?”

Oh and there’s a lot more too. Apparently, the clothes don’t look quite as we might expect them to look in the twenties. I read: “The colors are richer, the dresses more bespangled, and the flappers less perky.” And Daisy, one of the main characters wears lavender and lace true to the text but “the fitted cut of her dresses is more 1912 than 1922.” You can read all about it on this link and weep folks:  www.theatlantic.com/the-great-gatsby-i-s-fabulous-betrayal-of-1920s-fashion

Fashions inspired by The Great Gatsby

Fashions inspired by The Great Gatsby

Do most of us really care? Not really. For me, it is all about escapism; to lose myself in a story surrounded by plenty of opulence and glamour … things that I do not have on a day-to-day basis … and in fact, may never have.

So, my curiosity about seeing the movie has been put on hold for the moment.

However, don’t feel too sorry for me as I have had a perfectly lovely and relaxing day. The best part was lying in my bath, filled with green bubbles from a selection of  bath treats that my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day. Add a perfumed candle and classical music to the mix and I could almost be in the decadent 1920s lazing the day away with nothing better to do with my life.

All I needed was some champagne for me to drink …  but then again, alcohol was prohibited in the USA when Fitzgerald wrote his book, even though he had his characters drinking it in the story. An interesting fact indeed folks.

Oh well, it looks as if  I must simply remember to BREATHE DEEPLY and forget the champagne!

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