movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Monday, September 12, 2005

TORONTO - day 4 (part one)

So let me start off by saying that it is not is the stars for me to see “Brokeback Mountain” at the festival. Every time I make plans to see it something seems to get in the way. So… no review for “Brokeback Mountain”…

I did start the day off with an early screening of a really interesting film. BREAKFAST ON PLUTO is the newest from Neil Jordan (Crying Game, Interview With a Vampire, Michael Collins) and stars one of the newest breakout stars of the moment, Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins, Red Eye). This is a story of a homosexual transvestite named Patrick (or “Kitten”) who goes in search of his mother after being alienated and ostracized all of his life. I won’t give anything else away as far as the plot goes, but the main reason to see this movie is the great acting, the rich characters and the incredible performance by Murphy.

Kitten is a very interesting character. He/she is deeply wounded, confused and bitter due to being abandoned at birth and being ‘different’ all of his life. With all of this, he still looks at the world through wide, innocent eyes that make you can’t help but root for him. In a way he reminded me of a transvestite Forrest Gump. On this journey, he meets a cast of fantastic characters played by great actors such as Liam Neeson, Stephen Ray, and Brendan Gleeson. While all of these characters are unique and eccentric, they always feel real. The fantastical journey that Kitten undergoes never looses that emotional base, keeping you involved in what is happening to him. All that Kitten ever wants is to love and be loved in return. Murphy captures Kitten’s vulnerability, strength and determination to near perfection.

The other thing that must be discussed is the direction by Neil Jordan. This is a difficult movie from the beginning. The tone requires a delicate balancing act that Jordan delivers on. The movie is broken up in to 36 different chapters, which serve as a commentary on the events (both dramatic and comedic). This is a comedy as much as it is a drama.

The movie is book ended by two little birds, overseeing the world of humans and commenting on it to each other. At one time they even quote Oscar Wilde. That is the kind of film that this is. Literate birds, transvestites, priests, make believe and fantastical characters. If you want to see something different, check this one out. One of the best so far at the festival.

So one thing that I learned this year from the movies is that “life ain’t easy for a pimp”. “Hustle and Flow” taught me that. Today I learned another lesson… Life ain’t too easy for an orphan either. OLIVER TWIST is Roman Polanski’s follow-up to his Oscar winning “The Pianist”. There are many people that will call this a masterpiece and sing it’s praises. Let me tell you why this will happen.

First… Roman Polanski – he just won his first Oscar and it is okay for people to like him again. He gets the benefit of the doubt. Second… the movie is based on a novel of the same name by literary favorite Charles Dickens. Third… Ben Kingsley plays the infamous Fagin… a wildly charismatic evil bastard that everyone loves to hate. Alec Guinness garner lots of award attention for playing this part in 1948, in the David Lean version of the film, and Kinglsey will most likely do the same.

Now for the reason that it is not a great movie. First… we all know the story… we all know where it is going and how it will get there. Even if everyone hasn’t read the novel or seen the previous adaptations, they should know the gist. Second… the direction is bland. There is nothing special here. It feels like a BBC movie. That is fine for the BBC, but I expect more from ‘one of the greatest directors around’. The movie is not great… it’s not even that good… it is fine. I expect more from the people involved and maybe that is my problem. It left me under whelmed and disappointed. The cinematographer, Pawel Edelman (The Pianist, Ray) makes the film look pretty, but I never felt like the world that was portrayed was a real one. It all felt like a stage show. I never once worried about Oliver and how he would end up. I felt like I was in a movie and was never transported the way that a really good movie can do.

Kinsley is good as Fagin. He is fun and mean and plays a good bastard, but this is a showy role. It is a role that is designed to draw attention to itself. Is he great? No. He has been much better before and will be better again. It is a strong, solid performance. Barney Clark is also good as Oliver, but I couldn’t help but wish that it was someone like Freddy Highmore (Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)… someone that could instantly make you fall in love with him and then have the acting ability to take you anywhere he wants to. Clark is not there yet. Good not great. You will no doubt hear great things about this film and it will be touted as an “Oscar movie”. Just keep in mind that if you don’t think that it is a great movie, it is okay. That doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate literature or that you have unsophisticated taste. It is not a great film. It will be forgotten in a brief time… and then it will just air on the BBC (where it belongs)


Post a Comment

<< Home

free web tracker