Monday, October 27, 2008

Secret Life of the Cellists

We saw "Secret Life of the Bees" last night. Alicia Keys plays cello in it, not, in my opinion, entirely convincingly, but a cello is enough to get me to any movie.

I loved the book of the same name, and the movie is the best movie adaptation of a book that I have seen in a long time. It really captures the book, and the era (1964, as the civil rights movement was growing).

But, for now, just the cello part. Zoe Keating is the actual cellist in the movie, and, as the credits flipped by, I noticed that Alicia Keys had two cello coaches, one in New York and one in North Carolina, where, apparently, the movie was filmed. I didn't catch their names, and was checking the Internet for additional information, when I came across a query: "Was that cello piece the same one as the one in that commercial?"

Yes, it was the prelude to Bach's first suite for solo cello, the same one featured in numerous commercials from dog food to automobiles, apparently the identifying cello piece. Amazing Grace was also played, quite beautifully, I thought.

Just found an article about the North Carolina cello teacher. There is a video too, but I am in a motel in the Atlanta, Georgia area right now, one with a very slow Internet connection, so I can't watch it.

Here's another video, maybe the same one; it's hard to tell without being able to see them. It starts off by saying she learned the cello in 4 weeks. I guess she looks pretty good for four weeks!

I loved the fact that there was a cellist in this movie and there were quite a few scenes in which the cello played a supporting role. Alicia, however, played a character who was a bit unfeeling and unwilling to take a chance on love, perhaps someone who focuses all her emotions on the cello. So, you kind of want her to lighten up, put the cello aside, and go outside and play.

Oh, one other tiny complaint. This movie features Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, and only gives us little snippets of singing. Ok, you can't make this book into a musical, but it would have been nice to hear more.

Still, in all, a great little movie, even the non-cello, non-musical parts.

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