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My Blueberry Nights More at IMDbPro »

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91 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

Nice movie, like a slow song in a shady café

Author: siderite from Romania
28 March 2008

The film is all about mood. If you are not in it, you will not like the movie. My recommendation is to watch it at night, in bed, with no worries on your mind or things to do. It is not something really great, but it soothes the soul like one of those old road books.

The story itself is more of a three parter, each section detailing a mindset and the situations that define it. You see the hopeless romantic, the one person who let the other inside instead of just sticking to the outside, and for whom losing the other is worst than death; then there is the rebellious daughter that loves and hates her father until it's to late to do anything either way; and of course, the story of Nora Joneses and Jude Law's characters.

Bottom line: lay comfy in your bed and listen to the slow rhythms of the music while digesting the human nature presented in the film. In the end it is worth watching.

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128 out of 190 people found the following review useful:

A mixed bag

Author: mjsinclair from Switzerland
20 November 2007

This is a film of contrasts. A good story let down by poor dialogue; some great acting as well as some mediocre and good direction marred by irritating and indiscriminate "motion blur" filming.

The film has the elements and sometimes the feel of a charming love story, a modern-day fairy tale. The gentleness and innocence of the two main characters is in sharp contrast to the world inhabited by the secondary characters, where addiction to alcohol, gambling, desperation and suicide are the order of the day.

Jude Law as Jeremy seems to have lost the plot. His half-hearted attempts at a Manchester accent are woeful. Why bother with the accent anyway? He is a coffee shop owner in NY, and his origins have no bearing whatsoever on the storyline. However, his natural charisma and his gentle demeanour do suit the role, and he pairs well with Norah Jones as Elizabeth.

As for the flaws; is there ever total silence outside in the street in NY at night? And would customers really give their house keys to the person behind the counter in a coffee shop, to be kept in a glass jar? And would customers ever be known not by name, but by what they eat? And is there anyone in Manchester actually called Jeremy? As for Norah Jones, although she is on screen for most of the film, she does not have a lot to do or say – which is just as well really. She spends most of her time watching in silent, doe-eyed admiration, as she is given a master class in acting by the "real" actors.

The *real" actors here are David Strathairn and Rachel Weisz. Strathairn gives a memorable, finely crafted performance as Arnie, who is a cop by day and an alcoholic barfly by night. Rachel Weisz as Sue Lynne his beautiful, wild, estranged wife makes full use of her short time on screen to create a wayward, tumultuous character at once sensuous, and sensitive. Between them they steal the show.

But gripes aside, the director does manage to create an appealing, if flawed, film. It's a mixed bag. It's good in parts.

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72 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

The Style Of Hope

Author: M. J Arocena from New Zealand
7 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An inebriating realistic fantasy by Wong Kar Wai one of the greatest aesthetic visionaries modern films have to offer. This time is in English and without reaching the pinnacle that his "In The Mood For Love" reached, it's still a mesmerizing romantic road in search of love, hope and an identity that can be recognized. Norah Jones leads the way as someone startled by her own existence. Her kiss with Jude Law must be considered one of the most romantic, erotic and pure kisses I've ever seen. It seals the journey in an unforgettable way. Rachel Weitz makes a star entrance that reminded me of Kathleen Turner's in "Body Heat" a walking, full body entrance. Natalie Portman confirms that she's a spectacular actress and a riveting presence on the screen. Their Blueberry Nights became mine and with its wonderful look and score this a film I crave to see again.

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178 out of 316 people found the following review useful:

A noble yet pretty bad effort by Kar Wai Wong

Author: ursalaryan from New York, New York
21 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just got back from the Cannes film festival and I have to say that the negative reviews for this film are spot on. I think Kar Wai Wong is a fine director but he bit off more than he can chew with this film. The screenplay does not feel natural and while I love Nora Jones as a singer, she's not an actress and it's painfully obvious when you see this film. The best performances in the movie belong to the more deserving supporting actors in the film, mainly Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn and Natalie Portman who bring more to the film in acting than it deserves. The film has two major problems going for it, one is the script which does have one decent segment involving a cop (David Strathairn) and his wife (Rachel Weisz) but that's really a testament on how good both Weisz and Strathairn are as actors because they draw you into their character's lives and makes you feel for them but unfortunately the script derail their efforts in bringing more to their roles. Natalie Portman is great as well but she has even less of a story to work with and not a very convincing one at that. Poor Nora Jones is pretty but basically vapid in her role. She tries but lacks the presence to pull the character off. She's supposed to be the viewer's anchor but just ends up more of a piece of scenery than a character.

All and All a noble yet pretty bad effort by Kar Wai Wong

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46 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

I'm not sure whether that night really happened, or if it was just another dream." --the movie trailer.

Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
27 March 2008

Wong Kar Wai, the Hong Kong auteur, has made his first movie all in English and set in the USA--and built around Grammy Award singer Norah Jones. More coherent than many of Wong's efforts, it's been accused of being a "trifle"--or is it just that the plot seems silly now that it's all clear and in English? Like all Wong's work, this is a film that's romantic, sad, and gorgeous to look at from first to last and full of strong, catchy pop-blues-country music (Ry Couder did the score). The beautiful Ms. Jones's character, variously known as Elizabeth, Lizzie, Beth, or Betty, turns up at a New York café run by Jeremy (Jude Law), a guy from Manchester, England, drenched in love-longing because her man has dumped her for somebody else. Jeremy has a jar full of keys from patrons, each with a story, and Lizzie gives him hers, hoping her boyfriend will pick them up again. Jeremy has his own lost love, Katya (Cat Power); she'll turn up later on just to say goodbye. Jeremy's keys stand for doors he himself doesn't want to close.

Though Lizzie's boyfriend never turns up, Jeremy and Lizzie begin to have late night chats and sugar orgies, she eating a piece of blueberry pie with ice cream--picking blueberry because that's the pie that's always left over at the end of the day.

There's a fight in the café, and Jeremy plays around with a surveillance camera, which he seems to use as a kind of diary. Soon he will be alone, and Lissie will be away.

This time instead of improvising as in the past, which among other things contributed to his last film, 2046, a kind of summation of his Chinese themes and characters, taking five years to finish, Wong made up his story, with Norah in mind, and then had it turned into a finished screenplay (subject to plenty of revisions, of course) by crime novelist Lawrence Block. This one had a low budget and took just a couple of months to make. Shooting time, that is. It really took a year to do the editing, but Wong had that finished, to everyone's surprise, just in time for My Blueberry NIghts to be shown as the opener at Cannes last year.

Like Wong's other films, this one encapsulates several different stories. The second one comes when Lizzie decides to "cross the street" to revisit Jeremy by the "longest way possible," which turns out to be a trip to Memphis and Nevada and points in between, thousands of miles and nearly a year--a time of self-discovery, no doubt (though she doesn't observably change), and a period to avoid the inevitable romance with Jeremy. Landing in Memphis Lizzie works at two jobs, saving up money to buy a car. At a bar she encounters the drama of the drunken cop Arnie Copeland (David Strathairn) and his estranged wife, Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz). Both are fine, acting their heads off in scenes heady with barroom dysfunction. For once, an on-screen drunk admits to going to Alcoholics Anonymous--and collecting a beginner's chip over and over and over. He throws the chips on the bar and they make a satisfying chink. But Arnie comes to a bad end, though Sue Lynne, despite rejecting him, keeps his tab open as she lights out for the territory. Through all of this Lizzie constantly sends Jeremy a stream of postcards that are a kind of intimate diary, and he desperately tries to track her down by phone and letter, without success.

Every young filmmaker dreams of making a road movie, Wong Kar Wai has said. Though he's now fifty, this is a kind of new beginning, or felt like one to him. But, he said, this movie isn't really a road movie; it's a vacation. And it's not about a journey, but about distance. Maybe the trip across the street for Lizzie is all a dream--one by Sam Shepherd, working with David Lynch. Sue Lynne gives Lizzie a generous donation for being Arnie's barmaid too, and she lights out for Nevada. There she's working at a gambling dive where she meets a young woman named Leslie (Nathalie Portman) who's a pro, and they wind up leaving town together. Eventually, Lizzie ends up back at Jeremy's café, and he's waiting for her.

Coming after As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, Ashes of Time, Fallen Angels, Happy Together, In the Mood For Love, and 2046, Wong's excursion into America is completely consistent and logical. Those who seem disappointed, may miss the ellipses and madcap improv of the earlier films, and may have failed to notice that they were full of pop novel gimmicks and romantic cuteness. Wong's sentimentality passes muster because of cryptic story lines, poetic voice-overs, hypnotic uses of music, and adventurous camera work--mostly by Christopher Doyle, here replaced by the half-French and wholly brilliant Darius Khondji --made infinitely rich by complex editing. My Blueberry Nights is full of criss-cross angles, fast overlaps, closeups so shallow atmospheric Americana may go unnoticed, till a lovely panorama flits by. Color is typically warm and dense. The effect is to make every frame a pleasure.

Reciting Wong Kar Wai's list of features brings home how he single-handedly made the Eighties and Nineties an exciting cinematic time, from the first days when you had to go to a theater on the edge of Chinatown, and then you watched badly subtitled Hong Kong prints found in esoteric video shops, to the time when Tarantino's Miramax label, Rolling Thunder, distributed Chungking Express in a good print with clear titles and the secret was out.

Maybe Wong never did anything better than Days of Being Wild, the first film in which he became truly himself. But what does it matter? The quintessential stylist, he cannot make a film that doesn't give rich aesthetic pleasure.

US opening date April 18, 2008.

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57 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Soothing road trip for Wong Kar Wai fans

Author: Gavin Harriss from Sydney, Australia
21 February 2008

A young woman, getting over a relationship, travels across America to earn money and see the country.

I found this to be hypnotic, soothing experience, much like In The Mood For Love. It really does set up an atmosphere that makes you feel like you're really there. I think it's a pretty hollow film, which has turned a lot of people off, but i think there's enough there on the surface. I think the film looked great - the colors and charming set design. Jones was pretty decent, Kar Wai wisely filling the film with interesting characters/actors so she doesn't have to carry the whole film. Natalie Portman seems a little miscast (she looks barely a day over 20 so i don't know why she plays characters out of her depth), but i found Strathairn and Rachel Weisz heartbreaking and Law hasn't been so appealing in years. A nice surprise considering my low expectations.

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66 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

As sweet as blueberry pies

Author: oliver_fish0711 from China
23 December 2007

This is a typical Kar Wai Wong film.Even some of the music is borrowed from In the mood for love.I have long been a Kar Wai Wong film fan.This is his first English language film.But the Kar Wai Wong style is still there. This movie seems to have met before.The Rachel Weisz part make me think of Texas,Paris the moment I heard the monologue.The idea crossing the America is not fresh either.As to Norah Jones,her role is just like Amélie.But there's something sweet in all these.Unlike Amélie who tries to help others,Elizabeth is merely a witness to all those things,aiming at finding a way to say goodbye to her failure in love.When she finally think herself prepared to say goodbye,the person who broke her heart is not there any more,and it's time to start a new relationship with Jude Law If you want to see something serious,I'm sorry,you may be disappointed.But if you just enjoy the atmosphere in a romantic movie,you will be satisfied.But it doesn't mean that it's a popcorn movie.Apart from the typical Kar Wai Wong style scenes,music,there's something to think over.You will think of something,think of your own love story in this story. The performances are wonderful.Rachel Weisz makes you into the mood the moment she walks into the bar.David Strathairn is wonderful.Natalie Portman makes you know that she is a real actress with great talent(maybe someone will be uncomfortable to her changes).Jude Law and Norah Jones together gives you a sense of warm,and they are really suitable in the roles of bar assistant or boss.Kar Wai Wong makes Faye Wong transform from an excellent singer to an excellent performer.Norah Jones's music is wonderful, and her performance is surprising to me,succeed in a good listener and witness The music,cinematography,etc are typical Kar Wai Wong style.Kar Wai Wong loves to put jazz in his movie,and Jones's vocal makes you exciting at the beginning of the movie.everything is magnified,in order to show the beauty hiding in the fine points.The light is a story teller in this movie,maybe weired but fascinating.Kar Wai Wong borrowed a piece of music from The Motorcycle Diaries,indicating that Elizabeth has managed to get rid of the failure in love. It may not be the best Kar Wai Wong movie,but it's enjoyable,and it's as sweet as blueberry pies,you will find it hard to resist

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54 out of 85 people found the following review useful:

This film is a perfect movie for Norah Jones

Author: irishghost from United States
29 January 2008

This film is brilliant. So subtle and well crafted is the storytelling. The cast is perfect. If you like Norah Jones and her music you will absolutely love this movie. It is about human emotion, growth, hurt,longing,finding inner peace. Every emotion she brings to her songs Norah Jones and the rest of the cast bring to this movie. Every character represents another "Life Lesson" that Elizabeth (Norah Jones character) needs to meet to bring her to the peace she needs to find. Or, at least, an understanding of who she is that she can be happy with. Which makes the ending such a wonderful beginning.

Jude Law is his usual charming English embracing persona. Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman achieve so much with such small supporting roles. David Strathairn is perfectly cast and is just an incredible actor. The director did an incredible job of pacing the film to let each moment of reflection absorb into the audience. The photography was just as exquisite in its detail and subtle importance of meaning.

Where this film really succeeds is in not falling into the Hollywood pitfalls of so many indie movies where the the film becomes brooding or cynical. Throughout her journey Elizabeth finds herself; her best self. Like her music, you will sometimes feel the melancholia she feels, sometimes feel the hope and desire, the longing for love or the want of confidence in one's self. But after all the reflections, in the end you will be happy with the experience. The only thing missing from this film was a great Van Morrison song like "in the Midnight" or "Someone like you" to add to the atmosphere. I don't think i have seen any of Kar Wai Wong's {the director} films but I look forward to seeing them all now. Start to finish, this movie is brilliant.

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43 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Sweetly done but..

Author: Hugo Sousa from Portugal
20 February 2008

This was a smart sweet movie. Very nicely done with some beautiful scenes! Majestic pictures really. And it had a nice story and some good characters with great performances specially by Rachel Weisz and Strathairn! It had good witty dialogs and had some funny moments. It's one of those movies that has everything to be good. Never Amazing, never something out of this world, but good! Makes you feel good after wards! But because of the editing and the great shots, this movie could have been far better than the average sweet smart movie.

The main reason why it's just good is because of the lead actress which was Norah Jones. And I'm very sorry to say she didn't convince me at all. It even became annoying at some points! And since she is narrating some bits and appearing in most of the movie.. it kinda ruined it a bit for me. It's really hard to comprehend why she was given the part. But if you can forget about her acting.. I think the movie is really good.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Broken Heats and a Stolen Kiss

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
23 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In New York, Elizabeth (Norah Jones) has a broken heart when her boyfriend leaves her without saying goodbye. She stops by the diner of Jeremy (Jude Law) seeking out her lover, leaves his keys with Jeremy and ends the night having a conversation with him and eating a thrown away piece of blueberry pie. She arrives in the place for the next late nights and they become close, with Lizzy eating a piece of blueberry pie, until the day she drinks too much, has a blackout and is kissed by Jeremy. On the next day, she takes a bus to Memphis, Tennessee, and gets two jobs, working as waitress in the morning in a diner and as a bartender during the night in a bar and saving money to buy a car. Lizzy sends postcards to Jeremy without her address and she befriends Officer Arnie Copeland (David Strathairn), who spends the nights drinking missing his wife Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz) that left him. Later she moves to Ely, Nevada, workings as waitress in a casino, where she meets the gambler Leslie (Natalie Portman). When Leslie loses a poker game, they travel together to Las Vegas to visit Leslie's father. Then she return to New York, where she meets Jeremy again.

This classy and melancholic romance has a sweet story, great direction and performances, wonderful music score and a stunning cinematography. I was not familiarized with the wonderful voice of Norah Jones and her debut as actress is magnificent, showing a perfect chemistry with Jude Law. The excellent David Strathairn and Rachel Weisz have awesome performances in very dramatic roles, and the magnificent Natalie Portman has a different appearance with her vulgar character. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Um Beijo Roubado" ("A Stolen Kiss")

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