Words and Pictures

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Words and Pictures

Words and Pictures


(adj.) describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted — the powerful, personal feeling of being both overwhelmed and inspired

Words and Pictures is an intriguing movie. It curiously weaves the love of words and the love of art into a playful little tapestry. Mr. Marc (Clive Owen), an honors English teacher, plays amazing games with syllables, meanings and the history of words. He used words to paint pictures, tell stories and in general try peoples’ patience.

Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche) is a renowned artist whose creativity has been derailed by rheumatoid arthritis and who is now teaching honors art. While teaching, she pushes and encourages her students rather caustically — with skill, emotions, and settling only for their best work. When she says that “words are lies”, the English teacher (Owen) declares war,  ‘Words vs. Pictures’. 

The ‘war’ spins and the story unfolds. It is an interesting mix of artistic expression and academic seriousness, a little romance and a healthy sprinkling of laughter. Want a sneak peak? .  .  .  words and pictures . . . A friend compared it to ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, great characters and a quirky story line.

As a university communication instructor and an artist, this movie made me smile, chuckle and get back into the whole ‘word thing’ (numinous.) The ‘word thing’ was a game I played after teaching teenagers for several years and feeling like my word usage was stunted. The game was about collecting words with at least three syllables, collecting, reading, re-reading . . .  Pretty soon my vocabulary sounded like an academic again. It was a fun game until people started looking at me funny.

‘Words and Pictures’ is a fun movie, well worth a watch. About the word numinous — a little secret, funny and true: it rather describes how I feel about life at the moment; fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted, overwhelmed and inspired all at the same time. It puts life in perspective, fun!

Blessings and enjoy!



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