Maybe the Oscar race this year will be between two actresses over sixty because Judi Dench's performance is Notes was nearly as good as Helen Mirren's in Elizabeth. I so admire peformers who don't try to rise above their character and say --this unattractive person is not really me. It's expecially brave in these instances when their appearance and their character traits were so unappealing. Only the English seem willing to put on some wellies, an old pilled sweater (vest?) and slog around in the muck, never needing to tip off the audience that they are really film stars. In both films, their hair was especially unlovely. I would have had to grab a comb.
Reading the new Alice McDermott book and I amazed at how she feels confident enough of her aiblity to have nothing happen in the first 60 pages. I read mostly crime fiction nowadays, but I can't picture a chapter that describes a trip to the beach where the biggest event was a tiff between two children. Yet in her hands, it works beautifully.
Do you feel you have the luxury of starting a piece this slowly, of describing and evoking an atmosphere with very little plot? McDermott's That Night is one of my favorite novels. Just brilliant.