How many of us have often wondered about the greenness of other grasses? If we’d been born into another time and place, how different would our lives have been? Gil (Owen Wilson) understands this question with a singular focus that borders on obsession. He’s having an affair that began with the suddenness of love at first sight. The object is Paris, a city so glorious in Gil’s romantic, if slightly naive, eyes, that if it were a woman, he’d probably strip and make love to it. He’s enamored with the lights and couples noodling in sidewalk cafes, and the history of his greatest idols — Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein — who haunted these streets long before they became “classics” on a Barnes & Noble bookshelf. Their lives must have been charmed, Gil thinks, creating their finest work with great skill and admiration, while bathing in Bohemian culture. What greater inspiration does he need to move away from the mundanity of writing Hollywood screenplay hack and finally pen his great American novel?
Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category
Tags: Film, Midnight in Paris, Movies, Review, Woody Allen
Tags: Berenice Bejo, Film, Jean Dujardin, Michael Hazanavicius, Movies, Review, The Artist
The moment George Valentin appeared on stage, mugging shamelessly for his audience, I thought I was looking at the ghost of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. With his pencil-thin mustache and row of perfectly pearled teeth, the comparison didn’t seem that outrageous. Mentally, I was aware I was watching the French actor Jean Dujardin; but the illusion, though brief, was seamless, a testament to Dujardin’s uncanny genes and the vision of writer-director Michel Hazanavicius, who brings The Artist to life as if it were straight out of the 1920s, and respects it a such from first frame to last.
Tags: Andrew Haigh, Chris New, Film, Movies, Review, Tom Cullen, Weekend
The year is coming to a close faster than I’d like and I still have quite a few movies to see. But I can’t imagine anything else affecting me the way “Weekend” did. If “The Help” and “The Tree of Life” moved me, and they did, then I must have responded to this movie on a spiritual level. This is a profound work of art that builds not on plot, traditional narrative, or any real discernible structure, but the full and complete development of two of the year’s most memorable characters. What happens here unfolds so organically, over the course of two days, it’s like watching real life happen before your eyes. And it contains stretches of dialogue so riveting and honest, I felt like the guy standing on the other side of a wall listening to an intensely personal conversation.
[Sorry, but I got behind in my reviews. Here are two quick, unedited, and not entirely well-written commentaries.]
I grew up on the original Clash of the Titans (1981), that great Hollywood epic of bowdlerized mythology, and what fun it was to revisit it after quite a few years. Sure, the effects might not stand up to the times, and Harry Hamlin might have made for a mite-too-handsome Perseus; but the film is full of wonder and excitement, as Perseus races from one end of the planet to the other in an attempt to save the life of Princess Andromeda, who’s set to be sacrificed to the Kraken. Terrific stop-motion effects by the master Ray Harryhausen. Fun cameos by the Stygian Witches, with their single eye between the three of them; Pegasus; and the precious robot owl, Bubo. The battle scene in Medusa’s lair is moderately suspenseful, although I think a bit too scary for younger children. A classic today.
George Clooney is very good here as Ryan Bingham, an employee termination specialist, whose solitary life of airplanes and hotel rooms is about to undergo intense scrutiny. A young upstart (a powerful Anna Kendrick) comes along with an idea to save Bingham’s company money: Severance by wi-fi. In danger of being grounded, he takes his protege on the road to show her the “diginity” of face-to-face layoffs. Vera Farmiga gives another strong performance as Bingham’s female alter-ego, a woman as turned on by business suits, hotel bars, and rewards points as he is, and with whom he carries on a cross-country affair.
1946; starring Jean Marais, Josette Day; directed by Jean Cocteau; 93 min; Not Rated; in French w/ English subtitles; available on Criterion.
Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar as a princess overcome by royal ennui. Mildly sedated after a meltdown, Hepburn escapes the confines of the palace and runs into Gregory Peck, a reporter who intends to take advantage of the situation, but ends up falling in love with her instead. Romances, for the most part, tend to be no match for my cold heart. But you know what? Roman Holiday won me over. It’s a sweet, funny movie, loaded with sharp dialogue and gorgeous shots of Rome. Hepburn is luminous, of course, and Eddie Albert gives a terrific supporting performance as Peck’s partner in crime. The final shot isn’t satisfactory (at all), but I think you’ll agree with me that it’s inevitable–and therefore right.
1953; starring Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck; directed by William Wyler; 118 min; Not Rated; English.