philosophymom (philosophymom) wrote,

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In the center ring . . .

Yesterday's Friday Five were inspired by the movie The Greatest Showman, which I haven't yet seen. Still, I'll give it a go.

1. What physical trait are you (or have you been) self-conscious about?

Too easy. My weight.

In fact, that *was* too easy, so I am answering again. It's my, er, bosom. Even when I was young and mesomorphic, it was relatively prodigious, and now that I'm older and endomorphic, it is full-on prodigious. I'm so self-conscious about it that the only people I've truly hugged since puberty (mine) are the Man (of course) and my sons (but not since *they* hit puberty). Parents, grandparents, and evangelical church-mates who insist get half-hugs or side-hugs; no one else gets within six inches of my personal space (okay, so that last part suggests that it may not just be a bosom thing).

Sadly, there seems little I can do about my problem, short of a surgery I can't afford. I lost 40 pounds last year, and not one inch, er, came off the top. I live in fear that someday the one and only (and, believe me, I've both searched online and humiliated myself in expensive boutiques IRL) ladies' undergarment maker that produces a brassiere I can wear (click at your own risk) will go out of business.

2. When did you last do something risking injury?
Whoa, let's see now . . . Hmmm . . . I'm not sure risking injury is quite my thing, but I'm gonna say that the last time was when I flew to Florida in 2012 -- i.e., the last time I flew anywhere. I regard flying as something that shouldn't really be possible, so I always half-expect the worst.

3. Why do critics and the general movie-going public never seem to agree?
(1) Because critics know what they're talking about, and most people don't. I'm not saying that critics are therefore always right and the public is always wrong -- for that matter, I'm not even sure "right" and "wrong" are appropriate words when talking about art. But people who manage to get themselves hired as critics for decent publications generally have a lot of experience of a wide variety of types of films from a variety of times and places. Just as my mechanic sees more when I open the hood than I do, and I hear more when I listen to a piece of Western choral music than my kids do, the good critic sees more and different things than the average movie-watcher.

More importantly, critics are looking at movies as movies, while the average person uses movies as a means to some end -- entertainment, comfort, escape, catharsis. If we get what we want from a movie -- and that can be as much a choice as a thing that happens to us -- then we're happy, and if we don't, we're annoyed. Critics (or any people who watch movies critically) are more open to letting a movie succeed (or fail) on its own terms.

BUT . . .

(2) Do they really disagree all that much, or do we just notice when it happens?

4. How do you feel about Hugh Jackman as an actor?
I like him. I'm not sure he's yet made the case for himself as a great actor, but I find him very talented and watchable. He was ill-used in Les Mis, whose director demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of how musicals work when he chose to record the singing as he did. It's a wonder Hugh's voice survived the process, and his overall performance was not, to my mind, served by the abuse. I hope that's not how the latest movie was done.

I think he should do more comedy.

5. Who is the best singer you’ve seen in live performance?
I guess there are different ways to interpret "best singer," but I'm gonna go with "best voice." And . . .

That makes it a lot harder. Because of all the classical and B'way performances I've taken in over the years, I've heard some very fine singing live. The most famous great voice I heard in person was Placido Domingo's in the 1980s. I'm sure it was duly thrilling at the time; however, that was so long ago that it's kind of fallen out of my consciousness, so I'm gonna go with the most recent voice to knock my socks off live . . . and it's a tie! For sheer vocal beauty, Daveed Diggs and Renee Elise Goldberry in Hamilton were both out of this world. Mr. Diggs' voice seemed to have floated down from heaven on a cloud especially for the performance I heard.
Tags: friday five, memes, music
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