Today I did something unusual. Exceedingly rare, at least for me, though perhaps not for you. I went to a movie. In the theater. Alone.
I went to a movie by myself once before. I was in college. I suppose lots of people do this all the time, but the out-to-the-theater experience for me is usually one that’s shared. My husband and I rarely see eye to eye on the films we want to see so those outings are few and far between, and I’m too far removed from friends for a short notice outing like today’s.
Of course there was a reason for my impulsivity, and the reason was An Education. I have been champing at the bit to see this movie since I heard about it, for the first time, at the Nick Hornby reading I went to last October. Hornby wrote the screenplay of the memoir by Lynn Barber. Of course, this is a small, independent film and such films rarely make it the 40 miles south of Seattle to a theater near me. And as I generally prefer watching movies in the comfort and silence of my own home, I just wait the couple of months for the DVD.
The Oscar nominations were recently announced, this year expanding the best picture category to include ten films. An Education made it into the list and also received nominations for Carey Mulligan for best actress, and Hornby for adapted screenplay. Buoyed by its new high profile, I noticed today that it was indeed, finally, playing at a theater near me. “I’m going,” I thought, “as soon as I get home.” I noticed moments later that the DVD release date was finally set for March, and I paused. Perhaps I should just wait? Nah.
Films are usually a gamble, but I knew I’d like this one. I am, after all, Nick Hornby’s biggest fan. (Hopefully not in a scary, Kathy Bates, Misery kind of way, but I wouldn’t put it past me.) And I did. Like this film. It is devastating and funny in the way that only Nick Hornby can make things devastating and funny. It’s a period piece, set in the 1960s, so it’s not like one of Hornby’s own novels, but he’s unmistakably present in the film. I don’t know anyone else who could make me root for a character I didn’t want to root for.
I won’t say anything else about the film except see it, and my boy is going to win an Oscar!
What was the last film you saw on your own in the theater?