Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: Movies, Movies, Movies

Monday, January 09, 2006

Movies, Movies, Movies

Brokeback Mountain

Breaks your heart. I love Ang Lee and he can do no wrong in my book. Director of The Ice Storm and Sense and Sensibility and now Brokeback Mountain, he can be forgiven for The Hulk (which wasn't bad, actually).

These two actors, Ledger and Gyllenhall, are two of my favorite young actors to watch. And in these roles, they are stunning. Set in the 1960s and 70s, Lee allows us to watch a 20-year love affair between two men without sentimentality and without denying the contradictions of the time and the place. You see the pain in their marriages, you feel the division within the Ledger character as well as the heartbreak, and you witness the passion and possession of Gyllenhall's character, which ultimately leads to his death.

This film is beautiful, compassionate, and full of truth about the human condition. I highly recommend it.

Rumor Has It

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. The premise is original and unique. The main character, played by Anniston, finds out that the family that inspired The Graduate, that classic movie with Hoffman, is HER family. It's entertaining, it's funny, and the performances by MacLaine, Ruffalo and Anniston are brilliant. Even Costner didn't ruin it for me.

The portrayal of Pasadena, California is of the "good life." Tennis and cocktails everyday all day. I personally love Pasadena and consider it one of the few real cities in Southern California. As the backdrop to the misfit, Anniston character who has moved to New York--a real city--it's a perfect counterpoint. She's not blond enough, perfect enough, whatever enough for Pasadena. Rumor Has It is the timeless tale that every child has a fantasy of at one point or another in their lives--this isn't my family and they set out to find their "real" family. Most of us get over by the time we're twelve, though.

At times funny and at times moving, we see Anniston struggle with the choices her mother made and her own choices she's to make. We also get to witness how different our perceptions of our family can be from reality. I think it's worth seeing.

Cafe Lumiere (Rental)

This Japanese film must have inspired Lost in Translation, which I loved. However, it doesn't translate--or I'm just not a foreign film afficianado any more. (I've become a junk movie junkie!) This slow-paced, observer film about a young Japanese girl moving through her life, is just that--slow. Perhaps Lost in Translation had just enough humor, thanks to Bill Murray's brilliant work, to make it manageable. Or, perhaps I just don't enjoy the same pace when I have to read subtitles? I don't know. But unless you feel like watching a movie about nothing, that also includes no humor to break up the pace, I'd skip it.


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