#BlogElul via the Movies 13 – Inconceivable!


Of all my favorite lines in The Princess Bride, perhaps my favorite movie of all time, this might be favorite. A lot of it is Wallace Shawn’s delivery. Yet I love Vizzini’s ability to dismiss what he sees before him not as his fault or error, but as beyond the realm of possibility.

Ultimately, one of his comrades, Inigo Montoya, turns to him and says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Excuses come easily. We blame others. We blame God. We blame our upbringing. We blame the cosmic forces of existence. We even blame ourselves, but usually in bitter, unhelpful ways.

We also make excuses for others. We justify their behaviors, no matter how heinous or ridiculous, out of misplaced love and support. Take this film full of excuses…


The 1989 Poker drama Rounders stars two incredible actors: Matt Damon and Edward Norton and features a scene-chewing supporting role by John Malkovich as Teddy KGB. This film is part of reason for the poker boom in the United States.

On the face of it, it is a simple story. IMDb describes it as: “A young man is a reformed gambler who must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks.” I’d more accurately call the film Enablers, “The story of a young poker addict, his unhelpful girlfriend, and the worst best friend in the world who push and encourage each other to get deeper and deeper in their gambling addiction.”

I could have used Requiem for a Dream for the same purpose, among other films. However, that is one of the most depressing pieces of celluloid ever constructed as well as being a brilliant piece of filmmaking by Darren Aronofsky.

Whether we make grand excuses for ourselves or others, excuses prevent our growth and change. They are ways of feeling better that we are not actually becoming better. Toss the excuses and make this Elul one of growth, change, and no excuses.


#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.

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