photo: Bonnie Glaser

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I finally got to see Spectre, thanks to my wonderful friend Bonnie who babysat (above are Mélanie and me at a very fun dinner with Bonnie afterwards – Bonnie is the photographer).

Over all I loved it, particularly how it wove in the last three movies. I never would have though so before, but after Spectre I can see Ralph Fiennes as Carfax (though I think his M has a stronger moral compass than Carfax as well).

The first scene between Bond and M really reminded me of scenes between Malcolm and Carfax, right down to the setting and body language.

Bond’s very spare London flat reminded me of the description of Malcolm’s lodgings in Lisbon pre-Suzanne in His Spanish Bride.

I thought there were lots of issues that parallel the Rannoch series – the moral choices in the spy game, following orders versus pursuing one’s own idea of what’s right, personal life conflicting with the spy game. The ending surprised me. I liked it, though I wish there’d been time to develop the love story as much as in Casino Royale.

On a fun side note, Rule’s restaurant where M is eating and Q and Monnypenny find him goes back to the early 1800s. I’ve eaten there myself and in London Gambit Crispin hosts a supper party there after Manon opens in a new play at the Tavistock. Here I am having dinner there on a research trip after see La Cenerentola at Covent Garden.


Who else has seen Spectre? What do you think? Of the film, of the spies, of any parallels or contrasts to the Rannoch series?

photo: Elaine Hamlin

photo: Elaine Hamlin

Mélanie and I had a wonderful Halloween in Ashland, Oregon, taking part in the town parade, trick or treating in the lovely railroad distort, and wrapping the day up with dinner at Peerless, one of our favorite Ashland restaurants. Peerless’s excellent drinks list includes the Vesper, the cocktail named for James Bond’s tragic love interest in Casino Royale. I usually have a Vesper when I’m there, and it was extra special this time with Spectre about to open.

I’ve always loved James Bond films – the adventure, the humor, the style. My mom loved them too. My dad wasn’t quite as into them, but he enjoyed them as well and we’d watch as a family. But with Casino Royale, my interest increased. Here was the adventure and style with more substance, a harder-edged look at the spy game – and a wonderful love story. Of course it didn’t hurt that I could imagine Daniel Craig and Eva Green as Malcolm and Suzanne and that the love story with Bond and Vesper forced to work together and falling in love while she keeps secrets and betrays him, has some definite Malcolm and Suzanne parallels. I wrote the last Malcolm and Suzanne scene in Imperial Scandal after watching the scene in Casino where Vesper says goodbye to Bond (note the moment where Suzanne laces her hands behind Malcolm’s head and commits his features to memory).

interestingly, long before I heard of the Vesper (which is gin, vodka, and lillet blanc),  a friend and I invented a drink in honor of Suzanne/Mélanie that is equal parts vanilla vodka and lillet blanc (one of my favorite restaurants, Indigo, even knows how to make it for me).

I’ve enjoyed the subsequent films with Daniel Craig, while missing a love story on the level of Casino (on the other hand, the fact that Bond can’t love like that again is rather the point). Slkyfall in particular was great for exploring Bond’s past and the moral compromises of the spy game from what I’ve read Spectre promises to be rich in both story and character.

Who else is a Bond fan? Planning to see (or have you already seen) Spectre? If you’ve seen Casino, do you see parallels to Malcolm and Suzanne?

As you probably know if you follow this blog, Incident In Berkeley Square came out Monday. There’s a lively discussion going on the Google Group. Pop over and join in and/or share your thoughts here.

Have a great weekend!!