Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Untouchables (♦♦♦♦)

US Treasury agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves) moves to Chicago with his family in a mission to finish Al Capone’s reign of terror. With that purpose he enlists three more men, two of whom are stranger to the Chicago police department. The four of them trust no one and are dubbed “the untouchables”. But to end Capone’s reign, they must bend the rules, kill to avoid being killed, and ultimately bring Capone to justice on a famed technicality.

There are solid and magnificent performances in this motion picture. Kevin Costner is Eliot Ness. Andy Garcia stars as Stone, an aspiring police officer with a great shooting practice record. Sean Connery, in an Oscar-winning role, stars as Jimmy Malone, a tough policeman who knows a thing or two about a corrupt police force and what it takes to bring Capone to justice. Patricia Clarkson stars as Mrs. Ness, a small role, but much needed to provide balance in an otherwise gritty movie. Last, but not least, Robert De Niro stars as Al Capone, displaying all the sheer brutality the man himself was capable of.

The story was brilliantly written by David Mamet (Wag the Dog), masterfully directed by Brian de Palma, and the glorious musical score was by the hand of Ennio Morricone, for which he received an Oscar nomination.