So, like every other American who’s not a Porcher, I watched TV and went to the movies over the Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s the best I heard and saw:

AN EDUCATION is a genuinely erotic, sophisticated, conversational movie about a brilliant, beautiful girl of sixteen who learns important lessons—some quite positive—from a “wandering” older man—a witty, clever, and romantic criminal. But she’s finally no victim and moves on to Oxford to read English. One thing she learns, from her first sexual experience, is to wonder why so much poetic ink has been spilled over something that takes so little time. This is a story about feminism rightly understood, and so the anti-Woody (Allen) movie.

BLIND SIDE is the anti-Porcher movie. It displays with grace and humor the interracial, inter-class charity of a rich, Republican, McMansion-dwelling, southern, evangelical family that made it big through sports and acquiring a huge number of fast food establishments (mostly Taco Bells). It was charming to see their new black son choosing Old Miss because that’s where his family has always gone, and even more so having the dad played by Tim McGraw show us that it’s possible to be southern, sports-watching, and entrepreneurial while still being endlessly loving, patient, and open. Needless to say, this is a sleeper hit. It easily sold out the first show last Saturday night in very southern and Christian Rome, GA.

THE FOUR HOUR HBO SPECIAL sponsored by the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME featuring a impressive variety of old men and women credibly performing their classic tunes is guaranteed to warm the (diseased) hearts of middlebrow Americans in their fifties and sixties (such as myself). The Boss and Clarence managing to do justice to JUNGLELAND one more time is a wonder. Billy Joel shouting the lyrics on BORN TO RUN not so much. METALLICA, by the way, has aged particularly well, although I still don’t like Bono. B.B. King, despite having diabetes for a half century or so, never changes.

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Articles by Peter Lawler

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