Realism and fantasy collide in Jonathan Lethem's genre-bending coming-of-age story, which follows two estranged brothers as they try to leave New York City for a new life in California only... See full summary »
Anthony M. Bertram
Wisconsin Death Trip is an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The film ... See full summary »
A motiveless malignancy? Elvis leaves the Navy and heads for Texas where he contacts his father, whom he's never met, the pastor at a Christian community church. Pastor Dave tells Elvis to stay away and, without telling his family that Elvis is his son from a pre-conversion liaison, tells them to have nothing to do with him. But Elvis has already connected with Malerie, the pastor's 16-year old daughter. Elvis embarks on the seduction of Malerie, while Dave examines his conscience and comes to a new conclusion. Can anyone get right with the Lord? Does the Lord hear? Written by
The reviews I read prior to seeing "The King" seemed to fault Gael Garcia Bernal's performance for not being "dark" enough. In most portrayals of this sort, the main character is supposed to chill the viewer to the bone by abruptly revealing his true evil self.
That's not how Gael Garcia Bernal plays the protagonist, Elvis Valderez, a young man with an angelic face who has just finished his duty in the Navy. Elvis never reveals any hidden monster. There's no traumatic moment that takes a good man and pushes him over the abyss into madness. The truth is we've been seeing his true nature throughout the movie but were too mesmerized by his handsome features to believe he could be anything but a sweet, lovable guy.
This movie doesn't offer us expansive scenic vistas like "The Motorcycle Diaries", nor Quentin Tarantino-type hyper violence like "Amores Perros". What it does offer is another great movie performance, a unique character that will stay in our memories.
Gael Garcia Bernal is currently my favorite actor, a fact that works against him every time I see one of his movies, because no one should be able to live up to my inflated expectations. I think Johnny Depp and Brendan Frasier are two of the best actors in movies today, but both of them have appeared in at least one movie I didn't care for. So far, Gael Garcia Bernal has surpassed all my expectations.
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