Last night, I rented Gosford Park, a movie about a week long pheasant shooting party at an upperclass country home in England, set in 1932. The movie follows two plot lines, that of the elite, and that of their servants, and emphasizes the dichotomy between the two classes. It gets a bit Agatha Christie when the host of the party turns up dead, stabbed in the chest after being poisoned. I won't spoil it by telling you who did it. I liked it, even though it dragged a bit in the middle, and I had trouble keeping track of all of the characters (those white folk all look alike). Clive Owen is in it, and in spite of him playing such a skeeve in Closer (or perhaps because of it), I think he's right sexy.
I finished two books this week. The first was Rosario Tijeras, a novel by the Colombian author Jorge Franco Ramos. The story centers around three young people caught up in the money and violence of the drug-fueled world of Medellin, Colombia during the 1980s. Rosario Tijeras is a beautiful girl from a poor neighborhood, whose lifestyle is financed by "los duros de los duros," the dangerous leaders of the drug cartels. The story is narrated by her boyfriend's best friend, who, like the boyfriend, gets drawn in to Rosario's dangerous world because of his attraction to her. It's the first book I've read in Spanish, and it was much easier for me to understand than I thought it would be, probably because Colombian Spanish is very similar to the Nicaraguan Spanish I learned. I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to seeing the movie if/when it comes to the Boston area.
The second book I read was Shopgirl, by Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin. The main character is a girl named Mirabelle who works at the glove counter at a department store in Los Angeles, and begins a relationship with a rich, older businessman. When I found out it was written by Steve Martin the actor/comedian and not some other Steve Martin, I expected it to be lighthearted and goofy, and it wasn't. It wasn't bad, but in general, I prefer books where I can relate to the characters (because I'm egocentric like that), and in this book, none of the main characters had anything remotely in common with me. The main character is a beautiful, shy, lonely artist who suffers from depression, and she's kind of boring to read about. At least Rosario Tijeras went around killing people and breaking hearts. Some of the details were a bit off, like her financial trouble and the fact that she lives alone in a one bedroom apartment that costs her $500 a month. Obviously, Mr. Martin in a little out-of-touch with rental prices, because I'm sure even the crappiest of crap one bedroom apartment in L.A. costs way more than $500 a month. I know it's a picky complaint, but aren't editors supposed to catch those sort of errors? Shopgirl is being made into a movie as well, and guess who's playing the rich, older businessman? Bingo.