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El hijo de la novia (2001)
For all those wondering who Dick Watson was... hope you stayed till the end of the credits! The movie is pretty good, but the best joke comes in the little scene right at the end -- it will make sense why Nita says he's no Bill Gates, no Einstein and no Dick Watson!!! Enjoy!
Caracas amor a muerte (2000)
Big issues sensitively portrayed
This film deservedly won the Best Film award at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival this year. It is the story of a young girl, Aixa, who gets pregnant by her boyfriend, a criminal sought after by the police. Her grandmother wants her to get an abortion, and convinces a young doctor to perform it, against the opposition of a local priest and Aixa's boyfriend. This is a great ensemble piece, with beautifully acted three-dimentional characters.
Pride and Prejudice (1940)
Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite novels, and the 1995 mini is by far my favorite adaptation. However, I always wanted to see the other ones. Last night I finally saw the oldest of the 3, and was aghast. I could not believe all the liberties taken with Jane Austen's masterpiece. New characters were added, scenes changed -- which so far is not that bad, considering the time constraints. What really horrified me was the complete change in personalities of the main characters. Darcy is not supposed to openly admire Lizzy until after her rejection -- until then he is supposed to be struggling with himself, trying to control his feelings until he cannot hold them any longer. Laurence Olivier was definitely not indifferent to Greer Garson's Elizabeth -- his performance was much more subtle and nuanced (definitely superior in every aspect) playing Max de Winter in Rebecca (a wonderful movie), which oddly enough was released in the same year as this production of P&P. It just confirmed my long-standing belief that no one can play Mr. Darcy better than Colin Firth. Greer Garson looked too old to play Lizzy -- but that's beside the point. She lacked the playfulness that Jennifer Ehle was able to bring to the character. Garson by comparison was very stiff. But what really shocked me was Lady Catherine. According to the book, until the end she is supposed to oppose Darcy's marriage to Lizzy, and here she not only admires Elizabeth, but helped Darcy in obtaining Lizzy's acceptance of his proposal! These are absolutely NOT minor details. These changes touch the core of the book, and that, in my opinion, is inadmissible.
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is not an openly funny book -- it makes you laugh by being witty (two very different things). This production of P&P somehow found the need to add comedy relief, such as the parrot and music box scene when Lady Catherine goes to Longbourn. Another reason why I love Jane Austen so much is that all her novels have a happy ending. But for this movie that was not enough. They had to end it with introducing a love interest for Mary (who is supposed to end up alone with her parents) and match Denny with Kitty. Adding all this up, it was actually painful to watch. But I finally gave up when Lydia called Whickham "Whicky"... Puh-lease! This is definitely a travesty of a movie, unworthy of such a wonderful novel. I was just glad I saw it on public television -- otherwise I would have asked for my money back!!!
Couldn't forget Helen Hunt...
I was very happy to go see the play in person at Lincoln Center, and was extremely disappointed in Helen Hunt, who had just received the Academy Award for As Good As It Gets. The simple fact was, I couldn't forget that I was seeing Helen Hunt, the actress, instead of Viola, the shipwreck survivor who, while cross-dressing and passing for her twin brother, falls in love with Count Orsino, who is in turn in love with Lady Olivia. Despite good performances by Kyra Sedgwick, Paul Rudd and the always interesting Philip Bosco, I'd rather watch the 1996 movie "Twelfth Night: or What you Will", starring the wonderful Imogen Stubbs in the role of Viola, and Helena Bonham Carter as Olivia (plus the bonus performance of Ben Kingsley as Feste!).
Final chapter of the SP&T trilogy
Glenn Close is back as Sarah Plain and Tall, a woman who keeps a family together through the good and bad times. The acting is superb -- Christopher Walken (unusually non-spooky) as her husband once again delivers a top-notch performance. It's good to see young Christopher Bell all grown up; too bad we don't get to see much of Anna (Lexi Randall, also a few years older), but the new addition to the Witting family (played by Emily Osment) was very welcome. And finally, Jack Palance, as the long lost Witting patriarch, is as fine as ever.