Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: More Movie Reviews

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More Movie Reviews

Bee Season

I've been putting off reviewing this one because it's been difficult for me to separate what was the movie and what was my memory of the book. So, first let me recommend the book--one of the best reads in the past 10 years. Fascinating, compelling, surprising, intelligent--you won't want to put it down.

The film was so colored by my memory of the book that I don't know how well it stands on its own. My companions enjoyed it--and none of them had read the book. So that bodes well for it. I believe the film did show quite well how a family, run from its core by someone who does everything well, perfect, who loves life, can so twist the rest of the family into their own universes and worlds of depression/psychosis, approval-seeking, god-seeking, seeking anything outside themselves to impress, suppress, get out of the orbit of or sink further into the "perfect" one. I had compassion for each of the characters. It's too easy to villify the father; yes, he's a bit of a narcissist and full of himself, but he' s also passionate and dedicated and devoted.

Some flowers are too delicate to thrive under such a brilliant sun. That is ultimately what I believe the film expresses--with the hope that the child, the brilliant star-child, is smart enough and compassionate enough to become the moon and heal the family in the process.

Pride and Prejudice

Well, I've watched two versions in the past week. The 5-hour BBC teleplay with Colin Firth as the proud and misunderstood Darcy and the new release in the theatres with Keira Knightly as the whip-smart and delightful Elizabeth. I have to say I enjoyed the BBC version best. But the recent Pride & Prejudice covers all the necessary territory to understand the characters and the relationships. In fact, I felt it showed the line of longing a bit better between the two. There was a raw feeling to the cinematography in this newest version. Everything was a bit dirtier. The farm animals in tight quarters with the Bennet family. The gowns at the ball so simple.The town so plain; not the idyllic village in the BBC production or the high fashion in the BBC version either. I found this compelling actually and appreciated the difference. However, as Jane Austen adaptations go, it was not my favorite and you can wait for it to come out on video.


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