Not too busy to stop and smell the tulips

It may be spring break, but folks in Round Rock never stop doing their homework.Semper Augustus Tulip

The Improvements for Your Home display tower on second floor requires constant monitoring to refill empty slots:  volumes of wiring tips, bathroom plans, room makeovers, repair techniques and such are snapped up by residents determined to get the target project done like the pros would–or to confirm that this really is a job for said pros.  Consumer Reports fans know that the April issue is all about cars and have been asking for it at the Reference Desk; local auto dealers must be accustomed to well-informed shoppers.

Knowing this, when trailers for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  first appeared, we expected increased demand for our DVDs of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  As one patron explained, “I know the background from the first movie, but my friend doesn’t–and she really should before seeing this one.”

Like the locals, actors in the Marigold  films are staying busy.  Bill Nighy has at least three roles either in post-production or filming status since Second Best.  Richard Gere, not in the first installment but notably on board for the second, reportedly has two post-Marigold roles in the works, in addition to his photography and social activism via the Gere Foundation.  For Tom Wilkinson (in the first Marigold cast but not the second), Internet Movie Database lists seventeen recent roles, including that other hotel success, The Grand Budapest, and Selma (he portrays LBJ).  Examples of additional work for the Marigold crew—these you can check them out from the library on DVD–include Dev Patel in The Newsroom and Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton in Downton Abbey.

Among Dame Judi Dench’s film projects are Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, inspired by Ransom Riggs’ popular Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and directed by (who else?) Tim Burton.

But the mention I most rejoiced to see is Dench’s role in Tulip Fever.  Set in Amsterdam, this drama (due out sometime this year) borrows the unusual backdrop of an early market bubble—17th century speculation in tulip bulbs.  A 2004 film starring Jude Law and Keira Knightley was ultimately abandoned due to tax issues; this iteration features a screenplay by Sir Tom Stoppard. Coincidentally, the novel behind this movie was written by Deborah Moggach–author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Celia Imrie (in both Marigold films; she also played Colin Firth’s bride-to-be in Nanny McPhee) has completed a new project since Second Best; RRPL cardholders can also watch her in the earlier short film The Man Who Married Himself via the library’s Indieflix subscription.  And now Imrie has published a novel whose premise promises appeal for Marigold and Peter Mayle fans: the charms and hazards of living abroad.  It’s titled Not Quite Nice and judged by Booklist to be “funny” and “over the top”; Library Journal recommends it for “readers seeking a breezy read with a touch of romance and mystery and a heroine they can relate to”.

One of Imrie’s associates tagged it as simply “a very witty novel by a very witty woman”: that’s Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey.