It begins with 9/11. You expect that. It ends with the capture and death of the greatest terrorist of modern times. You expect that too. They’re both historical fact we’re all familiar with.
But we’re somehow caught in between raw depictions of torture and dark fragments of information that would have never crossed our minds. That we never read in the newspaper or heard on the radio. And our eyes are glued to the big screen.
It’s one of the most controversial subjects in human history: a great responsibility on Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s shoulders, the Oscar winning team behind it. This film will become the main point of reference for the majority of us. It’s got to be truthful. But is it? All those fascinating details in between the two main facts we’ve been bombarded with in the past decade, are they real?
There’s certainly a lot of cinematic realism to it, and I dare to say that it wouldn’t have been so believable if it weren’t for Jessica Chastain’s performance as the ambitious CIA agent. The central figure of the narrative, she is the one that brings a reassuring feeling in all of us as we watch an important chapter of human history unfold. Feisty, yet subtle. Rough, yet mysterious. Powerful, yet showing an unconscious innocence which stems from the only thing she’s dreamed of for 12 years: to capture the most wanted killer in the world, Osama Bin Laden. The boldness and confidence which rests on her delicate 1940’s features, is what - strangely - makes her whole performance and the film itself so true. It’s a part you wouldn’t normally cast an actress with porcelain skin for, would you?
But it’s just that femininity in the way she says “I’m the motherfucker who planned all this” or in the way she gorges on burgers and fries, which makes her so genuine in the role of the famous CIA agent. A Lara Croft that doesn’t need a big chest and two bazookas to convince the most powerful men in the country that she’s nailed the greatest quest since 9/11.
Chastain manages the perfect balance between elegance and roughness, kneeling us all at her feet: there’s no doubt anymore that a woman can successfully lead one of the most important CIA missions. And no doubt at all that a woman can be a terrific lead in a cold blooded, gripping terrorist film.
with Philippa Quinn and a scandalous amount of chocolate.
[…once in a while? are you serious?]
[the decadent potion]
[this was just for the start]
At the start of this year, I decided to begin a journey of self-discovery.
And I failed instantly.
So then I thought: “Well, I still need to fill up the next 12 months with something, right? I can’t just sit and stare at this sad wall, painted in an odd, unidentifiable color, can I?”
And then the epiphany: FIND THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO!
Well, truly perfect is the one I make, of course.
What if out there, somewhere, the perfect cappuccino, the one that matches the secret recipe encrypted in my tongue, is waiting for me in a shiny white cuppa, and I’m wasting my time trying to find myself when I could try to find HIM?
So I decided: I’m going to turn every single coffee shop in London (for a start) upside down, until I find it.
I’ve got my gear ready: nostrils, tastebuds, tube pass, book and a pair of legs.
Wish me good luck. Or … happy sipping.
Clearly none of those. Just what came up first when I typed “perfect cappuccino” in the Google search engine.
We’re sitting at the small round table by the frosted window, you and me. I’ve been longing to be here with you, just the two of us, ever since our last meeting … a couple of hours ago. I’m hopeless, I should have refused, but … the simple thought of having you in my hands…
We’re staring at each other for a while. Spoons and cups clinging, chatter in the background. The waiter drops a tray; sound of a plate smashing. And a gasp. A frozen second and then all is forgotten in the fading rhythmic jumble of mutters.
The more I look at you, the clearer my vision becomes as it slowly begins to stroke the fine edge of your flawless structure. I’m hypnotized. The waiter asks me if everything’s according to my expectations, but my tongue is paralyzed. I wish I could jump on my feet and embrace him for making this magical moment possible, but I cannot even blink. He moves on, dismissed by my lack of reaction.
Suddenly, a tiny naughty bubble on your soft surface pops and awakes me from my hallucination. Ah, I know what this hardly noticeable wink means; I’ve seen it before. It is time, you say. I grab the cold, silvery handle of the teaspoon, already feeling sorry for what I’m about to do. But my devilish taste buds won’t let these weak thoughts linger in my mind for too long. And you don’t seem to be bothered about it either. Your hard, silky surface is facing my steadily approaching torture tool like the brave proud chest of an armored knight.
A raw, vulgar desire to instantly devour you fills up my mouth as I thrust my sharp teaspoon into your chocolate-embellished top. I cut into the perfect, leaf shaped embroidery without a trace of regret. I’m getting delirious as I lift my teaspoon, victoriously holding a soft chunk of your milky foam. I let my wild taste buds dissolve it in my mouth. They calm down. But it’s not over. The painful odor of fresh espresso invades my nostrils and the fever starts again. The teaspoon is no longer needed; I grab the delicate round cup with my severely shaking hands and I greedily take a sip of your sweet, yet bitter being, followed by a loud gulp. A wave of pleasure shuts my eyes.
I’m able to control myself again.
And you, my dear, you watch my ridiculous behavior and show me one last smile on the edge of your porcelain skeleton: the cocoa stained, thin strip of dried sweet froth.
[This delicious cappuccino with its irresistible chocolate moustache was devoured one late January afternoon in a little coffee shop in Bucharest: “Camera din Fata”, or “The Front Room”- inspired by the one the owner remembers from his childhood, when visiting his grandma’, where only the “best stuff” was kept.]
… would be if I woke up late.
If the taste of that delicious traditional homemade Romanian cake I overstuffed myself with in the Eve would still be teasing my tongue as it touched my lips.
If I slowly rolled over and caught a glimpse of the red, chubby Christmas tree. And those sneaky presents winked at me from underneath.
My Mum would probably not be awake yet, so I’d have to wait …
If I lazily decided to put the kettle on, listened to it as it boiled and then silently waited as the sweet smell of coffee took over the sleepy room.
If I made myself hot porridge with toasted almond flakes and ate it with a wooden spoon.
If my Mum eventually half-opened her eyes and promptly demanded for her cuppa with a grumpy mumble. I’d happily pour her some of the bitter black liquor.
If I refused to wash my face, or brush my teeth or change my pijamas.
if I watched Tom&Jerry and laughed as if I’d seen it for the very first time.
If I finally ripped off the colourful wrappings and untied the silky ribbons to release that eager childish joy.
If I read a good book while listening to Santa’s Radio broadcasting straight from Lapland.
If we lit up a scented candle, set up the table, and had SUSHI for our Christmas meal.
If we then snuggled back in bed and watched a comedy.
…and later a spiced quince roasted in the oven.
And the time went by.
And it would feel great to waste it while making small plans for a big new year.
If I opened a large bar of dark chocolate and, separately, a couple of oranges, and mix their intense flavours in my mouth. And I wouldn’t be able to stop.
If I let go of one big final yawn and forgot the Christmas tree lights on, dancing rhythmically into the night.
… and I’d realise it all had happened today.