This section contains simplified versions of entries on Midnight Oil meant for English Second Language Learners. Original versions in a more difficult English are found on the main journal for Midnight Oil.

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) ESL

“Days of Wine and Roses” (1962)  is a movie that looks inside the private life of an alcololic. Jack Lemmon, the actor, plays the part of Joe Clay, the public relations man. Lemmon convincingly shows us the struggles of the charming and talented addict who quickly draws his young wife into the predictable downward spiral of alcoholism with him. The wife, named Kirsten, is played admirably by Lee Remick. 

Although some people might want to say that this movie is just modern-day morality tale in film, I tend to see the movie as a good attempt to deal honestly  with the subject of alcoholism. The flavour and tone of the film is definitely bittersweet. It’s a film that points out how quickly human beings can fall into a state of self-destruction and degredation. However, it is also a film that points toward the intensely human capacity for courage, hope and redemption.

This film was shown  with the movie  “Clean and Sober” (1988)  starring Michael Keaton. The movie "Clean and Sober" is another very powerful film about addiction. See the Saturday Night at the Movies preview for both films in the “Hooked” episode here.

View this retrospective on the acting career of the late Jack Lemmon set to Henry Mancini's Oscar winning theme song for the movie, "Days of Wine and Roses".


>>Real Life Story : Josh Hamilton, a professional baseball player, tells about his battle to get clean and sober. Josh tells of his struggle with drugs and alcohol after a tragic accident and an unearthly encounter.

>>More to see: Looking for more out of life?

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Catch the video trailer for “Days of Wine and Roses” here.

Posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 03:56PM by Registered CommenterCatherine Savard | CommentsPost a Comment

Georgy Girl (1966) ESL

Maybe you have heard of the show Ugly Betty. The movie, Georgy Girl” (1966), is like the modern show, "Ugly Betty", because it shows what happens to a young woman who is not pretty. The film takes place in London, England. It is the 1960s.  New styles of  music are being played by bands like The Seekers. "The Seekers" sang the very popular song, "Georgy Girl". This song was played a lot on the radio. It is the theme song for the movie, "Georgy Girl". You can hear the song at the beginning and ending of the movie. The song is a lot like the movie. It appears very happy on the surface, but there are some sad things in the song.

In the first scene of the movie, Georgy tries on a new hairdo. She feels uncomfortable. Georgy decides not to wear her new hair style. She changes her hair style back to the old style. Georgy is discovering who she really is. This is a theme in the movie.

The story a bit mixed up. Georgy is mixed up.  Georgy has a housemate, Meredith, who is beautiful and popular. Meredith gets pregnant and has a baby. Merdith does not want the baby.  Georgy tries to pick up the pieces. Georgy keeps the baby and lives with Jos, Meredith's old boyfriend.  Georgy and Jos try to make a home together, but in the end, it does not work out very well.

Georgy tries another plan. She marries her father's boss. Mr. Leamington. The boss is much older than Georgy. His wife has just died. He has been interested in Georgy for some time, even though she is not pretty. Even though she does not love this older man, Georgy decides to marry him and provide a home for herself and the baby.

Everyone wonders how well things will work out.

Georgy accepts a proposal of a marriage of convenience. She would rather be loved for who she really is. Georgy tries her best to make a good life for herself but something still appears to be missing. We wonder if Georgy will ever find the unconditional commitment and acceptance that she seeks. It’s what Georgy really wants; it’s what all of us want in the end –free love.

Don’t miss the SNAM Interviews on the subject of “Beauty -and Other Myths”. The Interviews deal with another movie with a parallel theme shown along with “Georgy Girl”. The second movie was “Dogfight”.

>>Real Life: Michelle participated in “The Biggest Loser” contest in order to lose weight. She found unexpected healing that led to a more permanent change in her life.

>>More to see: Looking for more out of life?

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See the TVO video trailer for "Georgy Girl" (1966)


Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 10:19AM by Registered CommenterCatherine Savard | CommentsPost a Comment