Ai No Uta aka Love Song

Ai No Uta (aka Love Song) begins with a despondent woman  telling us how she was an unwanted child. We are told that her mother did as much as she could to prove that theory again and again – including making her 7 year old daughter hide in a closet while she entertained male guests.

She is shunned by other children at school, is given stale bread to take to school for lunch, and her birthday or Christmas were ignored by her Mom. At one point, while still as a child, she had attempted to run away. She tried to live in a cardboard box nearby. When she was driven back home by severe rainstorms, and hunger, her mother greeted her with an indifferent, “Oh you’re back? Didn’t you run away?”

We learn just about all of this in voice-overs and flashbacks in the first 7 minutes or so of this TV series. This child, named Yoko Matsuda, and played as an adult by TV actress Miho Kanno, grew up to be a woman who lacked both friends and family. She was totally lacking in any kind of happiness at all. So we are not surprised when she, after giving up all hope, decides to take her life by jumping off a bridge in Tokyo. She climbs up on the railing and jumps off. All that remains are her shoes. Roll intro.

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Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes – now there’s a name that has been around for ages. The famous series of detective novels and stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle more than a hundred years ago are still being read and what’s more, are still being made into films.

The most recent of which is called Sherlock Holmes and was released a little more than a week ago on Christmas Day, 2009. This film, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. is doing quite well at the box office and has an excellent chance to be nominated for some Oscars.

The film takes place in London. This is not the light and airy London that we recently saw in Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Or the London we saw in Woody Allen’s Match Point – those settings were sunny and beautiful and romantic. No, this is the London of the late Victorian 1890’s – a London that is dark, gloomy, overcast, and foreboding. This is the London where the common man in the street usually needed a shave, a bath, and most likely used a tooth-brush only on rare occasions.

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