Sunday Movie Review – The Father – Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman – #Dementia

The Sunday Movie Review – this movie caught me right out of left field. When I saw that The Father was released on Netflix starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman (The Crown), I couldn’t wait to watch it. I’ll also add that I had to put on my big girl pants to watch this heart grabbing story, but felt compelled to watch it, accompanied by a box of tissues.

 

A masterful performance by Anthony Hopkins in a heartwrenching role of The Father of Anne, played by Olivia Coleman.

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

This powerful story takes place in London where Anne has already taken in her father after realizing he shouldn’t be living on his own any longer, despite his stubborness. But Anthony (real name and movie name) still comes across as witty and intelligent – until he drifts into a lost person.

 

This is a heartbreaking character study movie, so don’t be looking for big plots and action. The premise is real and frightening and Hopkins gives the performance of his lifetime portraying a father with dementia. We get an internal look as we stand outside this box of grief and fear. The grief is what we feel from what we witness as this man continues to go back and forth from reality to his lost world of dementia and the grief we feel for his daughter Anne who remains compassionate, despite her moments of wanting to throw up her hands.

 

We take in the moments where Anthony’s fits of anger strike because his confusion annoys even himself. His verbal distaste for going into a home when suggested by Anne so she can take her opportunity to move to Paris, will have you, tugging at your own heartstrings.

 

The movie contains mostly dialogue and will have us the viewers just as confused as Anthony at some points as he trys to decipher the reality from his own dementia. The ending will rip what’s left of your heart out with Anthony’s vulnerability.

 

This movie portrays the brutal and raw realism of dementia, how one lives within himself with it and how those who are the caregivers live a living grief.

 

 

Most heartwrenching quote by Hopkins as he questions his own sanity:

“I feel as though I’m losing all my leaves.”

 

 

From IMDB :

Storyline

Having just scared off his recent caregiver, Anthony, an ailing, octogenarian Londoner gradually succumbing to dementia, feels abandoned when concerned Anne, his daughter, tells him she’s moving to Paris. Confused and upset, against the backdrop of a warped perspective and his rapid, heart-rending mental decline, Anthony is starting to lose his grip on reality, struggling to navigate the opaque landscape of present and past. Now, as faded memories and glimpses of lucidity trigger sudden mood swings, dear ones, Anthony’s surroundings, and even time itself become distorted. Why has his younger daughter stopped visiting? Who are the strangers that burst in on Anthony?Nick Riganas

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A fantastic half hour interview with Sir Anthony Hopkins on the making of this film, how he felt in the role and how he prepared for it. Note: He played a man his own age of 84.
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Has anyone here seen the movie? Thoughts?
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©DGKaye2021

 

Time for an Update – U.K. Plans and Mexico

Like many things, our intentions don’t always come to fruition.

 

I know for months now I’ve been talking about my plans to go the U.K. as I anxiously awaited the arrival of my bestie to get here for a visit and my plans to fly back to the U.K. with her after. But sometimes plans change, and in my case, I’ve rearranged my plans and wanted to update you here, especially since I’ve chatted about my plans with several of my British and European friends in anticipation of meeting up with some of you.

 

So why the change of heart?

 

After losing my husband in April then moving in June, exhausted both mentally and physically, and full of grief, the only thing I wanted to do was to jump on a plane and get the hell out of Dodge. But Covid restrictions hampered those plans. Our airports didn’t open up to foreign travelers until early fall, and that kept my friend from getting here until late October.  She will be leaving back for the U.K. without me, later this week. Besides the fact that U.K. is experiencing higher Covid numbers again, and that my intentions of staying in U.K/Europe for a good month or two would have had to have been cut shorter because it’s so late in the year already, the upcoming holidays, and my having to prepare for my winter vacation in Mexico beginning late January, my husband’s gravestone is not yet erected and I’ve been anxiously awaiting that to happen so I can plan a celebration of life gathering for him with our friends because he was ripped off of a proper large funeral gathering at the time of his passing.

 

I’m feeling very unsettled about the headstone going up without my being around to acknowledge it and my plans for a small gathering to honor my husband’s life once the stone goes up. It seems that even headstones are in delay due to the Covid. So with all those factors rolled into one, I decided it’s best for me not to take off right now. I can’t even believe that in two months I’ll be on my way back to Puerto Vallarta!

 

I’m already dreading the holidays here and wishing away December. But I’m very much looking forward to a winter escape to a familiar place where I can somehow still feel like my husband’s spirit will be with me. As a newly minted widow, the thought of going anywhere else this winter gave me anxiety with first time being alone again traveling after a quarter century of traveling as a couple. But I decided to go back to PV and stay at the same location as we always did because we have many Canadian snowbird friends who stay at the same location annually, and at this time in my life I’m grateful for the familiarity I will be in and I won’t be alone there. I’ll have friends to gab with at the pool and to join up with for outings. I’ll also be having a few of my friends from home come down for a stay, so I should be quite comfortable back in PV in the land of wonderful people, sunshine, the ocean and beautiful sunsets. And I will have new plans come next spring for visiting both the U.K. and Europe. So just know my friends, I will get there. And hopefully by then, the Covid will be less of a worry, and I’ll be traveling in a warmer season.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashana, What About it?

 

Jewish New Year came early this year. Every year it falls on a different date because the holidays are based on the 10 month Jewish Calendar. It begins on the Jewish Calendar in the 7th month, Tishrei, which typically falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar. It is believed to have begun as far back as 6th century BC. Ever wonder what to say on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when you meet a Jewish person? The Jewish New Year is not just about vowing new goals to lose weight or work out at the gym.

 

This holiday holds several meanings. First, Rosh Hashana itself translates to ‘Head (rosh) of a year’ (shana). This is a time of reflection and a time to make amends for things that went wrong in the past year. It’s a time to reset our footsteps. We use the greeting, ‘Shana Tova’, meaning Good Year.

 

This year, Rosh Hashana falls on the Hebrew Calendar year of 5782, beginning at sundown Monday September 6th for two days and nights we celebrate, ending on Wednesday night but it lasts for ten days and on the 10th night, the holiest holiday of all begins – Yom Kippur, where the fast begins at sundown and lasts til the following night sundown, where we traditionally share a family meal to ‘break the fast’. Yom Kippur is the day we atone for past sins. Sweets are served – traditionally apple slices to dip in honey to hope for a sweet new year after the meal to break the fast.

 

Rosh Hashana is also a celebration of creation, sometimes referred to as the ‘birthday of the world’. This is when God made the covenant with man, creating Adam and Eve. We sound the shofar – an ancient Jewish musical horn made from a ram’s horn, at the close of Yom Kippur. The shofar was used to announce important Jewish public and religious occasions in biblical times to announce the Sabbath, the new moon and for all important public announcements.

 

Shofar

 

Different types of traditional dishes are prepared on the new year. Many sweet items are placed on the table to indulge in a sweet new year. On this occasion people meet their friends and relatives at gatherings and congratulate them. On the special occasion of the Jewish New Year, people greet each other wishing all a very Happy Rosh Hashanah. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

 

But this holiday will be different. I usually keep my two cents to myself, or only share with an intimate friend, but I have nobody to answer to anymore. I have clearly been shown that I matter not, to family. Calling a spade a spade here. When someone loses the love of their life and the only phone calls, letters, messages come from friends, that paints a definitive story. Oh, maybe once or twice a text will come in out of a sense of obligation, but really, my family are my tribe of friends here and the few good friends here at home.

 

This holiday has smacked me right in the solar plexus. The only family I have left are one elusive brother, who did call me, btw, to wish me a Happy New Year. I just laughed. He was getting ready for his family gathering, and despite my sullen tone, and letting him know how I felt, there was no extended invitation. My niece and great niece are what I hold on to as precious family cargo. They went to her mother’s (my sister) last night for a gathering and will be coming over later today for a little cooking and getting together. Those girls never forget their Aunty Debby and I love them like they’re mine. So that’s the size of my family circle.

 

I was feeling quite blue yesterday about the whole goddamned shameful situation, and not bad enough that at this holiday time I am alone without my husband who was my best friend and other half. We did everything together. In the past, when my family would once again leave a welt on my feelings, my Puppy always knew how to pick me up, swear a few profanities about the way I was always treated, and remind me, “You will always have me Cub.” Except, I don’t anymore.

 

I typically don’t like to make waves and spill ugly truths publicly, but hey, I’m a nonfiction writer who writes from the heart. And as one who has so much inside she has yet to share and was always so worried about minding her p’s and q’s as not to offend culprits, I’m in a different life now, and I’m no longer taking punches without speaking up. So, while everyone Jewish is busy spreading their Shana Tovas around social media, I decided not to post phony wishes about wonderful family gatherings, pretending I’m okay with things. Because, clearly I am not. Here’s what I posted on Fakebook:

 

My first Jewish New Year in my life I’ve ever spent alone. As an orphan and widow, I won’t be celebrating. This was once a joyous holiday for me when my father was alive, is when it really meant something to me, when even though family didn’t always get along, we got together for the holidays. Those days are longgggggggggggggg gone and so are my father and my husband, whom I always had to celebrate with on this holiday, which now no longer holds an ounce of meaning to me. Wishing those who celebrate, Shana Tova. For me, I could easily call it Passover – I’ll take a pass on this one. My Shana Tovas are being sent directly to heaven, where the two most important men in my lifetime now reside.

 

Big Puppy

My Puppy

 

My Dad

My Dad

 

I loved this quote from Anne Lamott since I read that book 8 years ago:

 

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

 

Below are two videos that show the history of how this holiday came to be.

 

How the rituals began

https://fb.watch/7R-nZ8USqV/

 

What’s the big deal about Rosh Hashana

https://fb.watch/7R-CWZpZak/

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who celebrate in the Jewish faith, a Happy New Year.

 

©DGKaye 2021

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Three Winter Sun Destinations – Kauai, Hawaii, Malta and Martinique | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Today I’m sharing my travel column segment over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blog magazine. In this holiday edition, we’re going to visit 3 lovely and warm places for a great winter escape – Hawaii, Malta, and Martinique.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Three Winter Sun Destinations – Kauai, Hawaii, Malta and Martinique

 

For any of us in the colder and wetter climates, a respite somewhere sunny is top of of most of our wish lists. Today three wonderful destinations where you will enjoy warm weather and an even warmer welcome from your hosts. I have selected islands where you can relax and even if it is for just two weeks, boost your tan and well-being before the real winter kicks in.

However, for those of you who crave the excitement and adventure of snow covered mountains and ski slopes, in my next post in two weeks, I will be sharing three top locations accessible to those in North America and Europe.

 

St. Kitts Paradise

 

The first destination is Hawaii and the island of Kauai.

 

About the Island courtesy oThe official island website

Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is sometimes called the “Garden Island,” which is an entirely accurate description. The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls! Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond your imagination. More than just dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. You can kayak the Wailua River, snorkel on Poipu Beach, hike the trails of Kokee State Park, or go ziplining above Kauai’s lush valleys. But, it is the island’s laid-back atmosphere and rich culture found in its small towns that make it truly timeless. Explore the regions of Kauai and make your escape to discover the undeniable allure of the island.

 

Temperatures in November/December/January are between 25 C and 27 C.. with an average of 23C… so very pleasant.

Flight times

From UK: 15 hours, longer if changing planes in US.
From Toronto: 10 hours
From Vancouver: 6 hours
From New York: 10.5 hours
From Los Angeles – 5.5 hours

Exchange rate as of December 1st – Sterling £1 would give you $1.29

Where to stay: Hawaii Guide Kauai Accommodation
Things to do: Tours and activities

 

sunset

 

Now a European destination, which by all accounts is becoming very popular with North Americans and Canadians via Travel Daily News

 

The Island of Malta – Mediterranean

 

The Hon. Konrad Mizzi, Minister of Tourism for Malta, noted that the US was one of the fastest growing tourism markets for Malta, recording a dramatic increase of 31.9% from 2017 to 2018, with a total of 47,170 Americans visitors. The increase from Canada in 2018 was 6.6% (15,015 Canadians) bringing the total arrivals in 2018 from North America (US & Canada) to a record breaking 62,185. This sunny archipelago in the Mediterranean recorded an overall 2.6 million visitors (+14.3% between 2017 and 2018), bringing a record number of tourists to Malta from around the World.

 

About Malta courtesy of Visit Malta

Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso’s Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages lead to the main square, which is invariably dominated by the huge baroque church. As the countryside is dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels and the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum. Please continue reading at the Smorgasbord

 

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Three Winter Sun Destinations – Kauai, Hawaii, Malta and Martinique | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine