Daily Archives: January 26, 2008


With everyone gearing up to see all the Oscar nominated films they missed this weekend, I thought I’d add one more to the list…Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s rocking “Persepolis”!

“Persepolis” production still (2007)

We saw this kick-ass animated film at a screening back in November and loved it so much that we literally spent the entire night talking about it. It’s layered, complex, beautifully told and best of all, surprisingly realistic for an animated film. Our immediate thought was: “What a fantastic film. Too bad it won’t get nominated for an Oscar…”

But guess what? Despite the odds, the French-language “Persepolis” managed to snag one of the three coveted slots in this year’s Best Animated Feature category! Yeah…sometimes, I’m happy to be wrong.

And while it will probably lose the gold to Brad Bird’s enormously popular “Ratatouille” — which was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay — just being nominated is a huge deal for a movie like “Persepolis” because it means people might actually, you know, see it.

Punk rockers in “Persepolis” (2007)

Based on a pair of award-winning graphic novels by Iranian-born author, Marjane Satrapi, the film is the touching, and often hilarious story of a rebellious young girl coming of age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

I know it sounds heavy — and sometimes it totally is — but since everything that happens is filtered through the eyes of the quirky, insanely-opinionated Marjane, the movie is also much funnier than you would expect given the subject matter.

Marajane marching against the Shah in “Persepolis” (2007)

Like her central character, the real-life Satrapi has spent most of her adult life in France, and thus chose French as the language for the film. And when paired with the simple, strikingly beautiful animation, the French could not sound more lovely. You seriously wanna bathe in this movie…it’s that gorgeous.

And the voice casting…wow…Satrapi and Paronnaud have peppered the cast with some of the finest actors in Europe. The legendary Catherine Deneuve voices Marjane’s mother, Danielle Darrieux the Grandmother, and Chiara Mastrianni (the real-life daughter of Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve) lends her voice to the main character Marjane.

Trust me, you haven’t heard acting like this in an animated film in years…if ever. Simply put, the cast, like the rest of the film is amazing!

Marjane and friend in “Persepolis” (2007)

So since you’ve probably already seen “Ratatouille” (we actually have not seen it yet, but plan to rent it soon) and the other nominee in the category is “Surf’s Up” (Yikes!) make sure to check out “Persepolis” on the big screen while you can.

Oh yeah, and if you like the movie, check out Satrapi’s lushly illustrated graphic novels as well, because they too kick some serious ass!


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“Not Nigella 6-Toes”

This post is coming a couple months later than planned — literally, as it actually happened way before Thanksgiving — but here at long last is the story of our book signing adventure with our favorite female UK celebrity chef, the crazy-beautiful Nigella Lawson. I know, I know, technically, Lawson is not a chef, but as someone who has sampled many of her dishes, this bird can cook!

Nigella book signing poster @ Williams-Sonoma (Nov. 10, 2007)

Though we have met Jamie Oliver at a number of stateside book signings, Nigella Lawson sightings on this side of this pond are much more rare.

So, though we’d already had her sign our entire back library of her books the last time she was here — in 2005 to promote her best-selling cookbook, “Feast” — we couldn’t resist heading out to the posh Williams-Sonoma in Pasadena to have Lawson sign her latest tome for us.

Released to coincide with her snazzy new Food Network show, “Nigella Express”, Lawson’s latest cookbook “Nigella Express: 130 Recipes For Good Food, Fast” couldn’t be cooler.

Nigella & Laura! (Nov. 10, 2007)

As always, the recipes are simple, easy to make and downright delicious. And the pictures…wow, beautiful! Christine’s favorite is the inside cover shot of the interior of Lawson’s well-stocked spice cabinet. Amazing…

And though we got some pretty cool pics of Lawson last time we met her, this time, we came bearing gifts! Much to Christine and my sister-in-law Laura’s dismay, I brought a picture of our very own Nigella (our six-toed kitty, for our newer readers) lounging atop one of Ms. Lawson’s books with the words: “Nigella the cat @ seven months! Enjoy, Tomás & Christine” scrawled on the back.

I know, nerd-tastic, but I thought Lawson would appreciate the tribute.

Me & Christine with Nigella! (Nov. 10, 2007)

And man did she ever! When we finally got through the line outside to the book signing table, I presented the real-life Nigella with the picture and told her that we sometimes called our giant-clawed cat “Nigella six toes” as a joke.

Lawson and the Williams-Sonoma staff nearby burst into laughter and then, the real kicker came when Lawson wrote the following inscription in our book: “To Tomás and Christine, Love, Nigella (not Nigella 6-toes)”.

Nigella’s inscription in our book… (Nov. 10, 2007)

Ha! We were dying! Not only is Lawson the hottest female cook in the biz (sorry Giada De Laurentiis) but she also has a rocking-good sense of humor. So, thank you “Not Nigella 6-toes” for another signed book and some awesome pictures!


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