• The Stone Angel

    by  • 4/29/2008 • festival, film, movies • 2 Comments

    How did I manage to avoid all the typical books forced on high school kids? I’ve never had to read any Margaret Laurence books; none of them. How did I ever graduate from high school in Canada? I’ve never been inclined to pick one up on my own, either, least of all The Stone Angel. Come to think of it, the only things I can remember reading as assigned books were Animal Farm, Lord of The Flies, and a bunch of Shakespeare. I have to be blocking something else out, but I know it was nothing from Margaret.

    Appearing at last year’s international film festival in Toronto, The Stone Angel has been released by Alliance Atlantis to a wider theatrical release. The film starts Ellen Burstyn, which is a big name, but someone I haven’t seen in a good film since Requiem For A Dream (yes, I saw The Fountain, and you can keep it; it put me to sleep). Part of me wonders what took so long for this film to be made, and part of me fears it having been made.

    The synopsis from TIFF says, in part;

    Ellen Burstyn gives a tour-de-force performance in this much-anticipated adaptation of Margaret Laurence’s landmark Canadian novel. The story leaps onto the screen with elegance and ease, beautifully fulfilling the emotional power of the original work.

    However, the words “boring and lifeless” or phrases to that effect have been thrown around, and suggestions have been made that there will be little to recommend it outside of Canada; this is apparently a film for fans of the CBC, and of all things Margaret Laurence, and of the type of film making you would expect to find filming Anne and her Green Gables.

    I’ll add it to my Zip.ca queue, but I’m really not expecting much. Going in with low expectations, I would hope to be surprised with a better film than I expect; unlike Iron Man which I’m likely going to go into with high expectations only to be miserably disappointed in ways that made me believe Uwe Boll directed the film…

    Anyhow, they do have a contest on the Alliance Atlantis page, linked above, that is offering a VIA Rail trip from Toronto to Vancouver and four nights in the Jasper Park Lodge. Tania’s just done this trip, though with the added leg from Halifax to Toronto. I assume that the trip is a round trip, but even if it isn’t, Vancouver is ever so much nicer than Toronto, though I have heard good things about TIFF…

    May 9th in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal and Winnipeg
    May 23rd in Ottawa, Calgary, Halifax and Edmonton


    2 Responses to The Stone Angel

    1. Cheryl Tippet
      4/29/2008 at 2:31 pm

      I always thought The Stone Angel was Margaret Laurence’s best book, until i gave The Diviners a good re reading last summer. Now that’s a movie plot. I hope Kari Skogland (the write director of The Stone Angel movie) gives this book a 2nd look when she goes questing around for her next project. The Stone Angel movie is excellent by the way – I saw it at TIFF 07 and if you like Margaret Laurence, you’ll love the movie. Even my husband was impressed and he teaches Can Lit at Queens University.

    2. xinit
      5/5/2008 at 7:40 pm

      From livejournal:

      29th Apr, 2008 22:45 (local)

      ooohhhh dear
      for shame!

      until this day, I thought Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence were the same person. Ok, well not really, I just misthought that Atwood had written Stone(d) Angel. I just read Handmaid’s Tale and really enjoyed it, so I was considering going back to actually read Stone Angel [I was supposed to in highschool, but managed to fake my way out of it].

      Damn these female Canadian powerhouses.

      xinit wrote:
      29th Apr, 2008 23:14 (local)

      You’re not alone in the Atwood / Laurence confusion; I was thinking of Handmaid’s Tale when writing this…

      I have heard the book is good, but people say things like that about books that that are supposed to be Great Works (anything Hemmingway scribbled out for example) but which they haven’t actually read. Maybe I’ll wimp out and get the audio book at the library :)

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