Film: Argentine Noir with a romance and a triumphant finish I could have used a bit faster pace on this film in the first hour but as I got more and more into the film, there was no doubt that it was well written, acted and directed. The detective in chief for the case works under a woman, Irene. He tries to solve the murder of a beautiful young woman while at the same time being unable to stop himself from falling in love with Irene. Unfortunately, she is engaged to another man. The time shifts continually, from when he first gets the case to many years later when he is retired and Irene is still working in law and is married with a husband and children. He still wants to solve the case. He also has a sidekick in here in the earlier time and most of the humorous scenes are when he has his sidekick in tow. There is a lot going on in this film but the back half is so strong that the resolution is positively resounding on every level. This film unusually succeeds as both a film noir AND a romance.
Novel: another winner by Unger This book is about a troubled college senior, Lana, who is there under an assumed name because her father murdered her mother. The father will soon be executed. Lana is a very troubled person and is in continuous therapy as well as continually medicated to handle her condition. She is studying psychology and her abnormal psych prof, also her adviser, may well be in love with her. He helps her get a job to babysit a troubled youth who is going to the school for emotionally troubled youth affiliated to her college. She is close to her two roommates but one of them goes missing one night which makes the police inquire more into her background. This is the second coed to go missing and the first one turned up dead. There are a lot of layers going on in this book and just as one is uncovered, another comes to light. To say anymore would be a spoiler and you want to be able to enjoy the whole process of figuring the story out. I have read all of Unger's prior books. She is a big talent in the mystery field. I recommend it.
Music: In the Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra made a series of albums in the 1950s for Capitol which were arranged by Nelson Riddle. These albums are among the finest recordings he ever did. His voice is in perfect form plus he brings deeply nuanced emotion to every song. This is one of my favorite albums from that grouping. There are sixteen songs, every one of them impeccable. The vast majority are love songs and ballads. Although he started as a singer in the forties, it is the following decade where he really comes into his own as a mature singer.
Audiobook Half Empty, written and narrated by David Rakoff. Although this book starts off comedic, by the time it hits the last two essays, it is as serious as can be. Although i enjoyed all of the comedy, as per usual, it is those last two which endear this book to me. The second last is his handling the death of his longtime therapist. The last essay is about his contracting cancer again. He was in remission for twenty five years. He had a much worse case this time and he died of it shortly after this book was published.
This makes this book all the more hard hitting with the last two essays. I both read and listened to the audio version of this book. Although excellent in either format, Rakoff had one of the most beautiful voices I've ever had the pleasure to hear. So, the audiobook is especially worth seeking out. The below link takes you to the CD but once you are there, there is a link to the Audible version which you can download at once. Amazon owns Audible. I also found this audiobook for free on my public library app called Overdrive which links to my three public libraries. Librarians loved Rakoff because he did readings for them of just about anything, just like he did for NPR.