New Year’s Eve: Reflections on Men I Love, BOFTA & What Matters Most *SPOILERS*

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                              Richard, I truly hope you have a terrific NYE, shared with people you love.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Coincidentally, it’s also the 30th anniversary of the night my husband and I got engaged. I still remember the taste of the Cherries Jubilee, the warm tartness of the fruit meshing with the sweet chill of the vanilla bean ice cream. Benny hates cherries, but he knew I liked them and would enjoy the dish. There was the flash of the simple round solitaire sparkling against the black velvet of the case and how he carefully slid it on my finger. His celebratory punch in the air and the exultant “She said, ‘YES!'” that he shouted in the parking lot of the Montgomery restaurant as we headed to the car.  The mix of euphoria and nerves as we embarked on a new chapter in our lives.

That eatery down at the historic Union Depot is no longer in business. We are still here, older, heavier, less hair in some places and more of what’s left turning white fast; hopefully, we are also wiser and stronger (if not physically, then in spirit and soul).  We’ve had our ups and downs–in recent years, a few too many valley experiences, perhaps–but “here we stand and here we’ll stay,” to paraphrase Elsa in “Frozen.”

This is a collage I made of photos of Benny playing with our great-niece Zoe during our family celebration down at Orange Beach before Christmas. It was so wonderful to see everyone, share hugs, memories, play Dirty Santa, sing carols along with the radio, enjoy my sister’s good cooking. But these moments captured below are my favorite moments from the entire weekend: Benny playing with four-year-old great-niece Zoe.

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This is a 55-year-old man with a troublesome shoulder who isn’t accustomed to roughhousing with kids (he had to break out the Ben-Gay cream when we got home Sunday night). But he’s been making generations of Killough women happy–yours truly, our nieces and now our nieces’ children.

He says he’s not sure he’ll be up to it for the next generation, but I can easily imagine my white-haired fella giving small people rides in his wheel chair if it comes to that.

He is awfully easy to love.  Which reminds me of another tall, blue-eyed, smart, talented, sweet-natured guy (who also has fetching nape curls when his hair is longish!) who is so easy to “crush on.”

On Christmas Eve this year, my husband and I went to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It took me a few days to formulate my thoughts and reactions to the film.

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Richard as Thorin in his kingly attire in a behind-the-scenes still.

I am not going to write a formal review this time around; there are already plenty of those out there by fans and critics alike.

Suffice to say I thought Richard was brilliant. My heart ached along with Bilbo’s and the dwarves as this individual they had pledged to follow, one they so admired and loved (both because of and in spite of his personal qualities) became, as my husband put it, “well and truly the mayor of Crazy Town.” The anger, the paranoia, the vulnerability exposed as he descended into the madness caused by dragon-sickness brought back both memories of my own father suffering the ravages of vascular dementia, and of my dearest Sir Guy. Yes, my buttons were being pushed on several levels.

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The moment I will never forget is Bilbo cradling a dying Thorin, unwilling to believe his friend would soon be no more, and how beautiful Thorin is in those last moments, redeemed, at peace, acknowledging what should truly matter to us in life. More parallels with Sir Guy and his “good death.”

 

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Bilbo and his final moments with Thorin. From Pinterest.

It did not make it any easier. I had started getting upset when Kili and Fili perished–so young, too young!! I knew it was coming (although not how, as I had avoided being “spoiled”) but it was still painful.

Biting my lip, I was trying to fight back the tears as Bilbo cried over his slain friend. I felt Benny’s hand patting my knee and glanced over to see the kindness and concern in his sweet blue eyes. He gave me a sympathetic smile and that made me feel better even in my sadness. He didn’t tease me about my tender heart. He simply understood.

I am not sure I can express how much that simple gesture meant to me. And I thought about all the times Richard has signed autographs and posed for photos and carefully considered questions posed to him, how gracious and affable he manages to be even when he’s tired, jet-lagged and probably done one too many press junket interviews.  He cares–he cares about his family, his work, his co-workers, his fans, people out there in need.
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I truly believe RA is a kind and compassionate person–my kind of fella. All the physical beauty and extraordinary talent and potent charisma aside, I believe Richard Armitage is a good man. And that is a large part of what keeps me coming back. Hey, I am a happily married, middle-aged lady who harbors no illusions that RA and I are going to be an “item”–as if!

But someone who is so gifted and blessed and still humble and grounded, a man who is trying to make his patch of the world a better place to live–I can heartily support that!

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Richard posing with some cosplayers.

Meanwhile, back to BOFTA. There are things about which I could quibble. The battle sequence went on too long IMHO (as did the barrel ride scene in the last installment) and I still think someone loves CGI a little too much. Just because you have the gee-whiz-bang technology doesn’t mean you need to keep pulling it out of the hat. I do think it can get in the way of the progress of the STORY. Also, we saw this installment in 2D, as opposed to the 3D HFR in which we saw the previous films. Not having seen BOFTA in 3D HFR, I don’t have a good point of comparison for this specific film, but Benny and I discussed this and we felt we didn’t miss out on the overall cinematic experience of BOFTA by seeing it in a traditional format. In fact, I think I felt less distracted. I do think it was fashioned to be a good link to the LOTR films . . . and watching them in sequence.  What are your thoughts on the film?

And finally—

I wish you all a wonderful 2015, filled with good health, happiness, prosperity, kindness, creativity, work you love to do and people with whom you can share both your celebrations and your sorrows. And I wish the same for our Richard. ❤

I know we don’t all share the same religious beliefs, but this quote I found on Pinterest expresses a lot of what I personally feel and you can adapt to your system, I think.

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16 responses »

  1. Happy New Year, Angie! All the best wishes to you and may 2015 be a better one.
    You are quite right with the excessive use of CGI in the Hobbit movies. At least for me it could’ve been far less fuss and still some more storytelling….. it definitely was wonderful to have at least some more Thorin in the last film.
    So good that you are still around. Looking forward to another thrilling year with our favourite actor/man.
    Hugs
    linda60

    • Hey Linda,

      Lovely to hear from you. Thank you and I wish the same for you and yours! I think I have a problem in general with so many films today relying too much on computer technology. I’ve felt it get in the way, for me at least, of character and story development in more than the Hobbit movies, so I am not just picking on dear PJ. Thorin, even “mad, bad and dangerous to know” and then redeemed and dying, was a wonderful thing. Yes, I am still around, such as I am, and looking forward to what comes next for RA.

  2. Wishing you and yours (and RA) a magnificent 2015, rich with happiness, health, and prosperity. Lucky says, “Mrrowp!”

  3. Belated Happy New Year! Benny looks good!

    I did feel the HFR helped the action sequences of this one out substantially; what seemed superfluous to me most of the time was the 3D.

    • Thank you, darling! I have to work on trimming his hair (oooh, those nape curls! I don’t want to do away with them!)and shaping his beard tomorrow. He’s been unsure about keeping it because there’s so much white in it (and he doesn’t want to fool with coloring it). I personally like it. A lot. 😉

      I wonder if I could have seen it in HFR without the 3D if that would have helped? The only options here are 3D HFR or 2D. We’ve seen a number of 3D movies now and frankly, neither of us is yet sold on that technology in terms of really enhancing our movie-going experience. I can say it’s quite impressive to view in plain old 2D, which is of course how I will view it on the telly.

      • The amusing thing is that the only reason they were filming in HFR in the first place was because they were making a 3D film and 3D is so dark. The HFR was supposed to clear up the darkness from the 3D and make it easier to watch. I think the HFR is a success in these films whereas I could live without the 3D.

  4. Pingback: More and further Richard Armitage fan reactions I’ve seen to The Battle of the Five Armies | Me + Richard Armitage

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