Brief comments on film by Amy.
Some old, some new. Domestic films and foreign too.
The Social Network — Just when you think Hollywood has breathed its last, it coughs up something as well done as Social Network. The sexual content seems thrown in for “fun” but otherwise I can’t think of anything bad to say about this movie. Perfectly cast, well acted, and the editing is brilliant. I am not usually a fan of flashing between the past and present, but this style added energy and the filmmakers refrained from winking at the audience in anticipation of future events. While I felt entirely confirmed in my aversion to Facebook, I am definitely this film’s friend.
The Double Lives of Veronique — Over the years I have learned to decode certain phrases that adorn film covers. Erotic means “more boobs than the French Riviera in summer.” Enigmatic means “nearly incomprehensible.” I can take an erotic film if it is boobs with meaning and therefore light on the incomprehensible bits or vice versa, but I don’t care for a film that is both at once. I had high hopes for this film from the director of the Red, White and Blue series as well as Decalogue. Maybe I lack the intelligence to understand it, or maybe I am a prude, or maybe I am an unintelligent prude. But this one had me scratching my head and blushing at the same time. This movie’s arrival at our home was a result of my resolution to watch more high quality films this year. Guess I’ll have go back to films in my native tongue.
A Room With a View (2007 TV Version) — I have so little to say about this poorly directed, ugly stepsister of the original Merchant and Ivory production, I have already said too much. Not only is this movie unworthy of even a Redbox rental (the one star, thumb tilting down rating at the Spiegel household), I wouldn’t bother checking it out of my local library if the librarian pulled it off the shelf for me and forcibly placed it in my bag. If this is the best view they have, call the bellboy cuz I’m checking out.
Downton Abbey — High art it may not be, but it has many other qualities I admire: a) it is being released in January and I live in Indiana where other forms of entertainment include “Spot the Longest Icicle” and “Whose Nose Hair Froze the Fastest”; b) the actors are British, wear period clothing and stroll through picturesque backdrops that scream of Darcy and Miss Bennett; and c) did I mention it is winter in Indiana? True, one is forced to sit through the obnoxiously condescending introductory mini-lectures by actors who, if lucky, have only a high school diploma and impeccable cheekbones as proof of their superior intellect. I suppose it makes me a political hypocrite to love Masterpiece Theater in all its overly subsidized glory. But despite its being a slap in the face of the free market, when given the choice of watching well-produced, well-acted masterpieces with slightly disguised political overtones or watching poorly-produced, poorly-acted duds with overt political overtones, I’m going with the socialists on this one.
Honorable Mentions: Lost: Season Six—Finally finished it. I don’t think it was a good thing that I had to turn to Google in order to understand the ending. Too many unanswered questions for me but overall worth the ride. Undercover Boss—I’m a big fan of this show; cry every single time. Night Train to Munich—A great classic WWII thriller.