9/7/08

Give Me An A!

I got this from Barb's website, a meme about characters. If you want to play along, here's the meme-ish rules:

1. Comment on this post and ask for a letter.
2. I will give you one.
3. Think of 5 fictional characters whose names begin with that letter, and post their names and your comments on these characters on your blog.

Except I'm doing six characters. Ha!

Count Laszlo de Almásy (from The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, as portrayed by Ralph Fiennes): There really should be no way that I love this movie as much as I do. I mean, we're talking adultery, death, craziness, and one distinctly unhappy ending. Watching it for the first time ripped a hole in my chest. I read the book shortly thereafter, which delves even more deeply into Almásy's obsession with Katharine--a delving that borders on the squicky, but still compelling, human, and deeply imaginative. And I gotta give props to a guy who's that interested in history.

Here's the scene where I lose it everytime, when Ralph cries as he carries her dead body into the light.


Atticus Finch (from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, as portrayed by Gregory Peck): Who doesn't love Atticus? He's noble, he's fantastically human, he fights for the underdog, he makes the tough choices--killing that rabid dog, anyone?--and he struggles as a widower dad to raise his little girl. He's an everyman, but he's a superman as well. And hello--Gregory Peck's voice.


Alabama Worley (as portrayed by Patricia Arquette in True Romance): Has there ever been a female character I've enjoyed and admired more, but related to any less? She's an uneducated hick whore, but she is--in her own words--a really good person. Just ignore all the violence and the crime and the sex for hire. She lives with an unmatched joie de vive and drags Christian Slater's Clarence out of the valley of death by sheer force of will. Don't watch this scene, where she defends herself against James Gandolfini in a rather berserker fashion, unless you have a strong stomach.


Allan Woodcourt (from Bleak House by Charles Dickens, as portrayed by Richard Harrington): Son of a stuck-up Welshwoman with ambitions for his future, Allan pursues philanthropic medicine in the slums of London, falls in love with plain-but-awesome bastard orphan Esther Summerson, joins the navy to earn money for their future together, survives a shipwreck, saves his comrades, returns to find Esther scarred by smallpox and engaged to a much older second-choice fiance, and proposes to her anyway. Coz he's dreamy.

Here's the proposal, about 2:20 in (and then the happy ending is here, 2 mins in, when you need a pick-me-up).


Paul Atreides (from Dune by Frank Herbert): He is the Maud-Dib. I've never found movie portrayals of Paul Atreides to come close the the superstud freakshow he is in the novel, especially not Kyle MacLachlan. Paul represents all of the potential a person has when he or she is young, to transform from a child into an adult, and from a leader into an emperor, a despot, and a god. Heavy.

Anna Levins (from The Siege by Helen Dunmore): By far the least well-known of my A collection, Anna is a 23-yo woman who survives the siege of Leningrad between 1941-1943, which claimed over 600,000 Soviet lives. She sets aside her ambitions as an artist to scramble for food, secure means of warmth, and protect her little brother and withered, blacklisted father from the rigors of the siege--where people boiled belts for food. Yet in the midst of this nightmare, she finds Andrei, a soldier who's returned injured from the front. And--stop the presses--there's a happy ending. In historical fiction?? Get out!!

Your turn. Want to play? Let me know and I'll give you a letter.

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