The Abu Dhabi Film Festival just started this weekend. I'm not sure how many years it's been going on but it seems to be gaining notoriety. This year there are names on the Hollywood A-list (or at least a B+), including Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Adrian Brody, and Clive Owen. Also there are a lot of popular movie stars from the Middle East and Southeast Asia including, Freida Pinto, the female lead of "Slumdog Millionaire."
Last night, my wife and I went to the Emirates Palace to see a movie for the. We saw the movie "Never Let Me Go" which was based on a terrific book by Kazuo Ishiguro. As I've said before, it's funny how one of the highest praises for a movie based on a book is "It was just like the book," but there you go, it was just like the book and I would recommend it highly.
The experience was heightened by seeing it at the Emirates Palace Hotel, reportedly the second most expensive hotel in the world. My wife and I got to dress up all fancy-like and pretend that we were important and stuff. When given the choice of driving there in the new-ish SUV or the beat-up Jeep, we naturally chose the beat-up Jeep. Pulling in to the hotel, the staff waved us into the underground parking as opposed to the valet parking without hesitation.
We enjoyed the surroundings, unfortunately, the film experience as a whole would hae been much improved if people understood what the announcement, "Please turn off your mobile phones," meant. Sure, I can see forgetting, but by the fifth time that a phone went off during the movie, you'd think that people would do a double-check to make sure that their phone was really off. Well, I suppose that it is the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and what better way to experience life in Abu Dhabi than people not knowing to turn off their phones when they should.