movie-ticketsI didn’t know when I met Dave at the multiplex on Monday that I’d get a blog post out of it. As I normally do, I charged my ticket so that I’d have a receipt in order to claim the deduction. I saw his raised eyebrow and explained that when I’m in a learning environment, I write off the cost. How seeing a Western would fit that bill came into focus as soon as we gave our tickets to the collector outside the main venue.

Sizing up these two senior citizens, this fellow 60-something asked, “Florence or Sully?” which made me burst out laughing. For those of you not current on what’s playing, she was referencing the movie that Meryl Streep stars in about a would-be opera singer and the new Tom Hanks flick about the pilot who landed the plane on the Hudson River.  Both would have great appeal to us Baby Boomers. Feeling entirely pre-judged, I corrected her with a laugh, “No, actually, we’re seeing Hell or High Water.”

Looking a bit surprised, she laughed, too. “I loved it,” she contributed. I asked her if we had to sit in the pre-assigned seats that the computer forced me to select. “I’m not allowed to tell you you don’t have to,” she said and added, “Wink, wink.”

I loved that the company she represents has a policy that she should enforce, but allows employees leeway in advising the clientele. As there were only 10 of us total in the audience (it was a 10:10 am. showing), we didn’t compare our stubs to where we chose to sit.

So, in addition to having several learning experiences I could write about–what it feels like to be pre-judged, validating entertainment as tax deductible and other company’s policies–we saw a fantastic movie, one I was not pre-disposed to pick on my own. Dave had already seen and described the bank robbery plot line shot in a depressing West Texas location, starring Jeff Bridges. After my sister and daughter told us that they’d seen and loved it, I changed my mind.

What I discovered was a character-driven plot with intriguing backstories, entertaining characterizations and cinematography that was captivating. I’m going to stick out my neck and say Oscar contender for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress. The waitress, played by Katy Mixon, was memorable, vulnerable and deeply touching. If you go, please let me know how you like it.

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