Brief comments on film by Amy.
Some old, some new. Domestic films and foreign too.
Winter Light — I will do this one first in an attempt to appear artsy and informed. I don’t know why I love Bergman since he and I are definitely not riding on the same worldview train. He is so good in his wrongness, though. And this one is no exception. Bleak, dreary and cold, I am glad I waited until the weather turned here before watching it. Otherwise, I might have just laid down on the tracks and gotten it over with.
Black Swan — Someday I am going to invent a mental eraser and this film will be one of the first to go. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself. Unless you have been living under a rock, you knew this one is not the feel good movie of the year. This is an interesting counter-point to Winter Light. Both see life as meaningless and yet Bergman seems more truthful in his depiction of life without hope, while Darren Aronofsky seems to exploit the darkness in a cheap and inauthentic way. Jim was shocked when I said I still think Natalie Portman can’t act but maybe that is just because my boys have subjected me to one too many viewing of Phantom Menace.
Rabbit Hole — I really expected not to like this film, but try as I might, I actually did. I am seeing an interesting pattern of Nihilism in my recent viewings but this was definitely the most hopeful of the three. My only major beef is with the casting. Apparently, Hollywood has decided not to cast aging actresses in age appropriate roles in order to keep young actresses playing sex pots. So the aging one play mommy roles for which they are a decade past ripe. I don’t think Nicole Kidman did a bad job (or Aaron Eckhart for that matter). I just kept staring at her face, trying to figure out why she had ruined it.
BBC Smorgasbord — While winter was refusing to loose its grip on my corner of the world, I curled up in my comfy bed and watched more Masterpiece Mystery than can possibly be good for one’s brain. I highly recommend Masterpiece Sherlock Holmes which is set in the modern day and combines witty discourse with a good thriller. I was very disappointed with South Riding, which was just released by Masterpiece Classics and starred Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House). It ends abruptly which I could have stood for had it not also ended badly. Doesn’t the BBC realize I am depending on them to counterbalance all this Nihilism? All I ask for is some pretty costumes and a tidy love story. Collision is a bit of a mixed bag, as if South Riding and Sherlock Holmes were in, well, a collision. A good mystery with some misguided romance.
The Fighter — Really liked this one though Jim says the fighting was unrealistic and I could have done without seeing quite so much of Amy Adams’ rear end. I don’t know what it is about based-on-true-story films involving sports, but I love them and this represented the genre well.
Have you seen Aronofsky’s “The Fountain”? If not*, since you didn’t care for “Black Swan,” perhaps the exquisite and sublime beauty of “The Fountain” can serve as the mental eraser you’re looking for. The score, by Clint Mansell, is also quite impressive — both as an accompaniment and by itself.
* I think I have two copies of it on DVD, and I’d be happy to send one (or both) in the mail to you.
I love that you love Bergman! I haven’t watched his stuff in a while but I use to love him like crack in college.
I too agree that South Riding started out promising and then broke all of its promises.
I’m getting the Sherlock Holmes you mentioned from the library tomorrow. And I’ll add Collision to the mix. Have you checked out “Lark Rise to Candleford”? It’s a really good British production–a bit slow, but doesn’t disappoint. The characters are really well written and there’s a lot of familiar British actors who do a great job.
I actually didn’t mind “Black Swan” but I’ll never see it again. “The Fighter” was better than I thought it would be and I like anything that takes place in the Boston area. Since “Rabbit Hole” was originally a play I probably won’t bother seeing the film until I see it as a play first…I’ve read that play and thought it was brilliant…
Well, I finally finished watching “Lost” and I can’t help but think you really should watch the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica”. It’s so similar and yet better is some ways…although “Lost” does redeem itself…hehe.