Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Artsy Wednesday: Casino Royale

Can a James Bond film count as "art"? This morning, at least, one's going to.

I've made no secret of my childish escapist fantasies involving jewel theivery, art heists and other glamorous and almost certainly fictional lifestyles steeped in international intrigue. So it should be no surprise that I love James Bond. Cooper doesn't share my enthusiasm, but he was interested enough in what he'd heard about the new Casino Royale to record it a few days ago.

Last night, we settled in with some leftover broccoli and cheddar soup (crumbled with bacon on top and served with a salad of baby romaine, goat cheese, pistachios and a pomegranate vinaigrette, all of which was really nice if I do say so myself) and watched the blood bath/poker tournament/fashion show that is Casino Royale.

We both really liked it, too. It's long, but it moves quickly, probably thanks to the high body count and pretty scenery. By the end of it I was, once again, ready to chuck it all and join the CIA. is this about food? Well, there was caviar. And funnily enough, during the caviar scene, where James is having a late post-poker dinner with Vesper Lynd in a crazy roccoco restaurant somewhere in Montenegro, Cooper looked at him and said, with some disbelief in his voice, "But he's eating caviar?"

I was like, "um, of course he's eating caviar. Look at where he is. He's wearing a tux. What else do you eat then?"

The only way I can explain Cooper's reaction to the food - which was entirely appropriate - is that it was a result of the disconnect caused by the poker. Instead of baccarat, or a similarly fancy and elite game, the movie's center was a Texas Holdem tournament. With a $10 million buy-in, yes, but still - the game that everybody in America plays in their basements, or on their computers. I think maybe Cooper was lulled into a sense of familiarity with the character, thanks to the game, only to be jarred right out of it when Bond returned to his high falutin Bond ways, elegantly stuffing caviar into his mouth.

Poker disconnects aside, though, it was a totally enjoyable movie. And now I will spend the day pretending that I am much more international and dramatic than I ever will be.

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