IMDbs.com are unblocked, finally. This is the most exciting finding today. I couldn't wait to visit the website and found out a great review of the movie Up in the Air in the website, which is the one touching me most recently. Highly recommended. The movie and the review.
The Economist March 11th 2017 Lobbying for refugees
- I seriously don't like Natalie - thinking life can be lived as you plan and thinking oneself is so smart. Overly confident. 看上去也很不讨人喜欢。
- to be alone flying around is a bit sad sometimes, but marriage could turn out crap too.
- Heard Elliot Smith's song in the movie. quite a surprise.
- Recognized so much Hilton stuff. it is funny that Ryan 家里居然还有半罐Hilton 的漱口水。这种小东西他居然还往家带。
So 2009, and the decade known as...(what do we call this decade?), are ending later this month. And there is no better film to wrap up a (frankly) terrible decade (in terms of news events, unemployment, the economy, the media stronghold, the trashing and dumbing down of American culture, technology, narcissism, vanity obsession, a divided nation, violence and hostility) than Up in the Air. The film, the best I've seen all year and one of the best of the decade, captures many of the factors that made this decade the worst one, at least in my 42 years. The 70s may have been bad economically but hey, at least we had Bruce Springsteen and real music on the radio, women still seemed to like men and not only if the men were millionaires, thoughtful movies in the theater, and only five or so TV channels to pick from.
Some who arrived in time and the others left behind
Up in the Air features George Clooney as a man with no "roots," (that is, no wife, no kids, and his apartment in Omaha is about as furnished as a room at Embassy Suites), who fires people for a living because the companies who hire him are too cowardly to do it themselves. It is a juicy role for Clooney, who has made a career out of playing easy-talking charmers. The film sounds depressing and in many ways it is, but it is also witty, quietly hilarious at times, and full of pathos when it becomes a morality piece near the middle (and like the best morality pieces, it doesn't shove its message down your throat). It reminded me in many ways of American Beauty, the masterpiece that capped off the '90s when it hit theaters ten years ago.
BEFORE he arrived in America in 2013, aged 22, Nur Abdi spent ﬁve “very hard” years in India, sustained by the generosity of Somali compatriots. He applied for asylum through the United Nations’ refugee agency, and after a series of “very tough” interviews, he was resettled in Clarkston, just outside Atlanta. Now he works for a Lutheran relief agency, helping other newcomers. Some in his family, who like him ﬂed violence in Mogadishu, are stuck in Ethiopia. Donald Trump’s ban on new Somali visitors threatens his hopes of a reunion.
Clooney's character slowly is stripped of the things he only cared about--including a one-night-stand that becomes a "Same Time Next Year"-like meeting in Hampton Inns and Hiltons in Miami, Detroit, Wichita and other random cities, with another constant traveler (we never know what exactly she does, and that's not supposed to matter) played by Vera Farmiga, who may win an Oscar nomination for her mysterious, slightly passive and jaded, 30something character. The final important character is an eager young Cornell graduate (played by Anna Kendrick, from Twilight) who thinks that a career in firing people is a wise choice now, and in some respects she's not that far off. Her character represents many of the Twitter-obsessed twentysomethings driven for money money money, who live for texting, and has naive and even immature ideals of what makes a relationship work. But she too goes through a transformation, as Up in the Air reaches a "feel good while feeling bad" quality of Frank Capra's darker films, like Meet John Doe.
continuing for a long time
»We must make a sustained effort to get this task finished this week. 我们必须坚持不懈，争取在本周完成这项任务。
kindness, especially in giving things to people
»He treated them with generosity and thoughtfulness. 他待他们宽容大度、体贴周到。
someone who is from the same country as you
protection that a government gives to people who have left their own country, usually because they were in danger for political reasons (政治)庇护,避难:
»to seek / apply for / be granted asylum 寻求/申请/获准政治避难
to escape from a dangerous situation or place very quickly
»It is likely that the suspects have fled the country by now. 很有可能几名嫌疑犯现在已经逃到了国外。
»He fled to London after an argument with his family. 他与家人争吵以后离家去了伦敦。
One of the most amazing things about this film is its use of real people in the "firing scenes;" people who have really lost their jobs several weeks or months before being filmed. Director Jason Reitman combines scenes of these people being fired by Clooney and Kendrick, and their instant responses are wholly authentic. There are a few actors playing the "firees" as well, but they blend in with the real folks. I really can't think of a better film to cap off this decade. This one will stay with you. Highly recommended.
On March 7th—the day after the president signed the new version of his travel restrictions—Mr Abdi attended a celebration of “new Americans” at Georgia’s state capitol. Troupes from the Andes and Laos danced in resplendent costumes. A technicolour choir of refugee girls sang “This Land is Your Land”. For a ﬁnale, a clutch of refugees took the oath of allegiance and became American citizens. The anthem was performed by a former Syrian refugee, and another, Dr Heval Kelli, now a cardiology researcher at Emory University, gave an exhortatory address. “Watering down a bad idea doesn’t make it a good idea,” Dr Kelli says of the revised edict. He would like to sponsor his widowed aunt and cousins to join him from war-ravaged Kobani, but the ban now means he cannot.
Georgia State Capitol
It is the main office building of Georgia's government.
a group of performers, especially one that travels to different places to perform
very beautiful, bright, and impressive in appearance
an extremely colourful quality or appearance, especially one that looks artificial
a group of people who sing together, for example in church services or public performances(教堂的)唱诗班；(公开演出的)合唱团,歌唱队
»She sings in the school choir. 她是校合唱队的成员。
a clutch of sth [sing.] (BrE) a group of people, animals or things一群(人或动物)；一批(物品)
»He's won a whole clutch of awards. 他获得一大堆奖。
a formal promise, especially one made in a court of law
take/swear an oath
»Even today, all new American citizens officially take an oath of allegiance
strong loyalty to a person, group, idea, or country
a song which has a special importance for a country, an organization, or a particular group of people and is sung on special occasions 国歌；(组织或群体的)社歌,团歌
the area of medicine that deals with the heart and the diseases that affect it
to try hard to persuade sb to do sth
a formal speech given by someone to a group of people, especially as part of an important occasion
water something down
1.to make a statement, report etc less forceful by changing it or removing parts that may offend people – used to show disapproval
- to add water to a drink to make it less strong
an official order given by a government or person in authority 法令
to damage sth badly毁坏；损坏；严重损害
»a country ravaged by civil war 遭受内战重创的国家
The serious purpose of the event, organised by the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), was to lobby legislators. Georgia, like other states, enacts its own immigration-related measures to complement the federal ones. On the roster for the current session are a Trumpesque register of foreign criminals, and punishments for so-called “sanctuary” campuses. Next year’s session may be more demagogic, says Stephanie Ali of New American Pathways, part of the CRSA, because state elections follow it. Volunteers were dispatched to talk to the politicians; Mr Abdi teamed up with Craig Storlie, a Lutheran pastor. Some of their targets were absent, busy or pretending to be. But Scott Hilton, a freshman Republican, was willing to chat. Mr Storlie told him that 91% of refugees are self-suﬃcient within six months of arriving in Georgia. (Their economic contribution involves not just ethnic cafés and shops but labour in unappetising industries such as poultry processing.) Then Mr Abdi chimed in. He said he was Somali but had “found a home here, I found a job, I found a dream.” “That’s awesome,” said Mr Hilton.
to try to influence politicians or people in authority on a particular subject
lobby someone to do something:
»Motorists lobbied the government to take action on petrol prices.
someone who has the power and authority to create new laws
to pass a law通过(法律):
»legislation enacted by parliament 由议会通过的法律
a list of the names of people who are available to do a job, play in a team, etc. 候选名单
safety and protection, especially for people who are being chased or attacked 庇护；保护
If you say that someone such as a politician is demagogic, you are criticizing them because you think they try to win people's support by appealing to their emotions rather than using reasonable arguments. 蛊惑民心的;煽动民情的
to send sb / sth somewhere, especially for a special purpose 派遣；调遣；派出
»Troops have been dispatched to the area. 部队已派往那个地区。
to join with someone in order to work on something
team up with
»You can team up with one other class member if you want.
»Recently a friend suggested that we team up for a working holiday in Europe in the summer.
a priest or minister in some Christian churches
showing that you are not really looking at or thinking about what is happening around you 心不在焉的；出神的:
»an absent expression 心不在焉的神情
able to do or produce everything that you need without the help of other people自给自足的；自立的:
»The country is totally self-sufficient in food production. 在粮食生产上,这个国家完全做到了自给自足。
food that is unappetizing has an unattractive appearance that makes you think that it will not taste good:
a rather unappetizing egg sandwich
chickens, ducks and geese , kept for their meat or eggs 家禽:
chime in phrasal verb
to say something in a conversation, especially to agree with what someone has just said:
» ‘We’ll miss you too,’ the children chimed in.
Now, Mr Abdi went on, it “feels like refugees are no longer welcome.” After all, “they are human beings and deserve a second chance.” Pressed on Mr Trump’s initiative, Mr Hilton cited the need to protect America from “bad guys”. Mr Abdi countered that refugees are themselves “running from the bad guys”. If the embargo endures, he “will not be able to bring [his relatives] here.” “It’s tough,” Mr Hilton conceded. Still, he was “generally supportive” of a temporary ban.
in a difficult situation because you do not have enough time, money, or other things that you need
»She said she could teach the French class if we were really pressed.
» There is no possibility of salary increases, especially when the company is pressed for cash.
to reply to a criticism or statement that you disagree with
»Such arguments are not easily countered. 这种论点不易反驳。
an official order that bans trade with another country 禁止贸易令；禁运
»a trade embargo against certain countries 对某些国家的贸易禁运
to last for a long time
»friendships which endure over many years
to admit that sth is true, logical
»"Well okay, perhaps I was a little hard on her, " he conceded. “好吧，也许我对她是有点苛刻，”他承认道。
acknowledge, admit, confess, recognize, concede
acknowledge → 通常指公开承认某事的真实情况或自己的过错。
admit → 强调因外力或良心驱使或经判断而明确承认，多含不情愿或被迫意味。
confess → 语气较强，着重承认自己意识到的错误或罪行，含坦白忏悔的意味。
recognize → 作“承认”解时，系书面用词，主要指合法的或外交上的承认，也指公认。
concede → 指在事实与证据面前勉强或不得不承认。