Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Incoming: The Lady

I'm excited to see Michelle Yeoh back on the silver screen. I haven't been following her career that closely; I think she made some English-language movies after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but that's the last time I remember her doing anything really remarkable. Here, she's playing Nobel Peace Prize winner and celebrated Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi.


Michelle Yeoh is someone I can definitely picture pulling off a noteworthy performance in this role. Of course, when you think "Asian Lady," the only other real player in Hollywood is Lucy Liu, I guess. That's a whole other story.

I have some hopes from the look of the trailer that this movie will tell the story well. Or maybe it just really successfully played on my emotions. I always have a thing about learning history from movies, like I feel like I ought to already know historical fact from book learning and going to college and stuff. But I usually don't. I could tell you all day about the Italian Renaissance (thank you, art history major), but in most other eras, I probably measure up to a precocious sixth grader. And with a story about a person with the strength of character Suu Kyi has, you really don't want some stupid ass movie to screw it up.

More people should know about what happened in Burma. I don't even fully know, even though I have read up on it in the past. But it's interesting: I think with the Arab Spring and the recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to three African women who have made great inroads in democracy in their countries, it's possible to gain some perspective on the dictatorships of the recent past and those that are still ongoing. Life is a living hell in some countries around the world. Innocents and people who are fighting for good are killed, imprisoned, tortured, and even just denied the basic rights we enjoy daily. Star in a movie critical of your country's government? A year in jail and flogging for you. Meanwhile, my fellow Angelenos are taunting police in a park. [Tangent: I have had some major conflicting thoughts on the Occupy movement. I tend to agree with aforementioned Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee: Good job making all the noise. Now, what is the agenda? Personally, I'm hugely fortunate not to be saddled with student loans. My parents paid for college. I'm lucky. I have a great job close to home with benefits. I got into the job world before the economy tanked. I can't relate to the protesters through my own experience. But I do believe we should be taking care of the poor, the mentally ill, our veterans, our farmers, our educators, and our public servants. In times as economically tough as these, we need seriously genius-level solutions to take care of everything from the environment to education to infrastructure. Its going to be contentious. And I guess I'm glad Wall Street took some heat in the lead-up to election season. But Wall Street is part of what makes our country what it is and has driven our economy practically since the country's founding. It's not going away; we just need to fix it, I suppose.]

Um, so yeah. I'm a movie blogger, right? That movie up there excites me.

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