Monday, September 16, 2013

Dear Tom Courtenay

I am not in the habit of writing fan mail or gushing profusely over a movie actor on print. But I feel I must write this while you're very much around in this world. 

I have seen your movie Quartet twice already, from beginning to end, and have recommended it repeatedly to friends by SMS. I've talked about it whenever the subject of retirement homes comes up (which is more often as I move to my 60s and my own circle of friends and relatives are in that so-called sunset period or last half/last quarter of their lives).
Courtenay in his youth
With the beautiful Romy Schneider
As dedicated revolutionary Pasha Antipov with '60s icon Julie Christie playing Lara in Doctor Zhivago
I've always liked English actors for the reason that a number of you are an educated lot who went to and through drama school, often rising in your profession to be worthy of a knighthood. 

My recent discovery that you also write made my esteem for you move several notches higher. After I finish with this blog, I intend to write my brother in Calgary, Canada, to look for a copy of your book Dear Tom: Letters from Home. That you would dedicate a book, a critically praised one to boot, to your mom, and your dad, speaks well of you.

I have several intentions as far as your life's work is concerned one of which is to again watch Doctor Zhivago. If I have to sit through its more than two hours of screening time and rewind your parts in it, I will do that. I also will request my tech-savvy daughter to download through the Torrentz program Billy Liar, The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner (I saw this on black and white TV in my youth), One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. This summer I saw The Night of the Generals again, but I was more focused on Peter O'Toole. Again the fact that you had meaty roles in films like that speaks volumes about your caliber as an actor.
Courtenay (to Maggie Smith's left) in one of the last scenes in Quartet
As a fan, I must apologize I never quite paid attention to you in your earlier roles, not until  I saw Quartet where you played a heartbroken and retired opera singer. You did look terribly hurt by Maggie Smith's infidelity that she had to rehearse her lines asking for forgiveness over and over before you crossed paths again.

When my schedule allows for the leisure of viewing your countenance again, I will have the bowl of popcorn ready. Meanwhile, dear Sir Tom, you are a majestic actor!

Devotedly yours,
Babeth from the Philippines

P.S. I just discovered that on top of all you've done, you were also the original singer of that Herman's Hermits hit from the '60s, "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter." I used to sing that, too, in my pre-teen years, but I like you better wearing the gravitas of Reginald Paget in Quartet,

Photos from the World Wide Web

Post a Comment