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Sex is the logical intimate answer.
Let's start with a few questions!
How do we get really intimate with someone? With your mind or with your body? And at which point are we willing to share our intimacy? Let's just try this particular point of view (one of many) in this movie. The one that struck me the most. People who talk and try to help someone with their personal experience may give a little enlightenment but never touch one's unique mind nor will fully understand the equation of it. Sometimes, it's better not to speak at all. Just like Claire (Kerry Fox's character) shouts to her husband after their quarreling: "You don't even know how to hurt me!"
Sex is the logical answer in this picture. It's the only thing that's left to get intimate with someone and doing so, openly, we don't pretend who we are. "Show me how you do it and I'll tell you who you are!" Unfortunately, some things should never be told or wanted to discover. No words should be spoken. Here, intimacy is to acknowledge only with body and never with the mind. It has nothing to do with pleasure. It's sharing to the very core of physical acquaintance. And doing sex like this it's the ultimate essence regarded only to whom can't "play" anymore their ordinary lives. "Share with me the way you do it and I don't need to know how you live".
The House of Mirth (2000)
The House of Misfits
SPOILERS! DON'T READ!
In the first shot of the movie, we see a uncomfortable character walking. It gets more uncomfortable when we see she doesn't know how to speak by the rules. So she acts another character. But only in the first scene. Little by little, we see that she was going through some changes in her mind, before the movie begins. And she made her resolution, despite some doubts during her despair. We know that she had lost a great deal of money (and so her financial independence) in gambling. Particularly in Bridge, you know? That game that we are supposed to speak after the deal and before the playing itself. In order to be acquainted of your partner's game and by consequence your adversaries, too. But she didn't have the touch to play the game. It was too embarrassing for her playing by those rules. But at the beginning of the movie, she's really interested to know how to play by the rules. Unfortunately, she is quickly stopped by others who can't imagine her in that role. And she falls deeply. And it's her frailty in facing her determinations that eventually leads her to death. Whether it's suicide or misconduct it's up to her.
This slow-paced but staggering movie shows how thin is human relationships when it comes wanting to have a position and what it takes to climb at. No need to talk much as we all know how the world was at that time and how it still is. But at least we understand (do we really?) the perspective of a misfit (or misfits) in this world. And a female one. We know that it's possible to be health-minded and still wanting that as it shows on Elisabeth McGovern's character (Welcome back, dear Elisabeth!). The dialogues in this movie are terrific and the acting is superb in every character. Gillian Anderson may seem uncomfortable (I confess that in the first shot I was expecting that she pulled a gun and say: F.B.I. Freeze!) but it is its tragic and suffered performance that give credit to its character. And Gillian is really wonderful as she showed in the X-Files and "Playing by Heart".
Chocolate until it chokes!
Lots and lots of chocolates would deserve a better taste from Lasse Hallstrom. I don't understand why this timeless tale of enjoying the sweetness of life is so badly screenwritten and so repetitive in all of its scenes. We never get to understand what this movie is all about and what moves the characters. Did Lasse only copied "Babette's Feast" or he didn't know that chocolate is only good in pieces? Still, Juliette Binoche is wonderful as always.
Nurse Betty (2000)
Comedy? A horror movie!
This is the story of a guy who went up to see a comedy and it turned out to be a horror movie. The true story of a guy who's infatuated with pictures and got scared when he identified himself unexpectedly with one of them. The unbelievable story of A GUY who got scarier when the female-hero was deluding herself as well as the male-villain. Gosh, is this what life made us be? People deluding themselves about the perfect face imagining how that face should be perfect inside? "Toto, I think we're not in Kansas anymore".
Spoilers, don't spoil!
This show never succeed in Portugal because it was the first attempt to dub a series to Portuguese (I guess we're fortunately the only country in the world that does not spoil the fine work of an actor by badly dubbing him/her and thus taking out one of the most significant characteristic of them: the VOICE!!!!) Imagine that! France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, etc. never heard the voices of Woody Allen, Humphrey Bogart or Marilyn Monroe. Can you believe it? So, I hated Friends as well as every viewer in this country. But fortunately, a friend of mine bought it recently on DVD. And I saw, for now, the first FOUR seasons of the show in its original voices. And I ADORE THE SHOW!!! What people viewed in four years, I did in three months. So, I started looking for some comments here on IMDB about his success. For my amazement, I felt revolted when I found that some commentators didn't write the word SPOILERS in their comments. PLEASE, I didn't need to know, now, that *SPOILERS DON'T READ* Ross got married thrice! OH...MY...GOD...
Cast Away (2000)
A sabbathic experience
I saw it hours before I wrote this lines and I'm still feeling exhausted as I cried for about 2/3 of the picture. It's a cleansing, sabbathic and religious experience watching this movie. Not because it mentions the word God or other divine entity (note the funeral) but it has faith and the character believes in itself even when he thinks he no longer exists as a human. Beginning with a crossroad somewhere in the middle of an American desert (instantly reminder of "North by Northwest") the movie starts within a minute in a frantic pace of a FedEx box traveling (physically and with the camera) from America to Russia in another well-remembered voyeur-voyage by Zemeckis. Frantic or not, we soon discover the meaning of TIME and SPACE in this multiple-paced well-placed cameras showing the exact spots of what Time and Space are supposed to stand in the castaway's life. Zemeckis' twisting and turning views in this movie are sometimes experiencing what the character does, other times before and after him and we enjoy more viewing this movie as a voyeur (didn't Hitchcock teach us a lesson about the art of cinema?) rather than what's going to happen in the plot which is a bit secondary. Then, there are the boxes. The Pandora boxes, only this time what's inside them loses power for what they are and steps in another dimension of their usefulness. They act as tools and sometimes as characters to solve the problems of one's Cast Away. They expand time (the volleyball "ball") and produce space (the blades of the ice rollerskate). Finally, the blood. Lots of it. Not like a sign of death but incredibly, as a flux of life that the castaway uses to generate his feelings (Wilson or Son of Will) or to survive (the blood spill when he's making fire) and, thus returning to the religious thoughts in the start of the comment, he must need to sacrifice his body in order to (re)gain spiritual meaning about being alive. Note detail: he only eats after a long time drinking coconut MILK! Crossroads are exactly where this post-modern urban castaway stands in the beginning of the movie regarding his multiple choices. Career/marriage, workplace/home to name a few. Eventually he'll get to make one in a limit situation: the girlfriend's watch opposed to the lifeguard-waistcoat. It's a nice ellipse when he ends up in the place that was only known by the viewer in the beginning, having to choose a course in the vast desert. And this time he really chooses! P.S.: I hope Tom Hanks will deservedly be the first man to win three awards for leading role in the history of Oscars!
La vie moderne (2000)
Normal people are SOMETHING special.
It's not much of The modern life we see here but The modern way to redirect a movie containing some aspects of not so modern life. When we see on TV reality-shows, people disposed to talk about their lives as it were movies, I can't help but thinking that what they are not disposed to talk could really be a great movie. That's exactly what happens here. Laurence Ferreira Barbosa portrays a nice movie with three tales, apparently not connected, that tells much about the loneliness of human being when they are confronted with their expectations and the true nature of their desires, forcing them to stand alone in their own speech. Fredéric Pierrot is deliciously funny and the young Lolita Chammah, probably will be following the steps of her mother Isabelle Huppert, but it is this last actress that fills the screen for she's probably the best in France. "Normal people are nothing special" reported Laurence in her debut-film. Well, I think they are!
Segunda piel (1999)
Second skin or true skin?
A classic triangle movie with a married couple and a male lover in-between, only this time it's not the wife but the husband who's cheating with another man. Hot sexual male scenes makes this film a must by gay viewers when Spanish cinema is currently leading this matter. Though, it is a bit TV plot based on a true story, and it has rarely been seen on cinema, doesn't necessarily mean that it cannot be done. In fact, the quality that makes this particular movie a good piece of art and so worth watch it, is that it's portrayed as an archetype of a modern life situation that happen to occur more often than one could suspect. The husband's unwillingness and incapableness to find his true nature, constantly lying to his wife and his lover, has driven those last characters to despair in understanding and helping the man they love but who they don't know. The wife, never suspected that her lack of involvement in their relationship could endanger her marriage at the point of seeing her husband seeking for an affair. As for the gay lover, the fact that his present companion has afraid to be seen in public with him, like two lovers rather than two friends, hurts him badly because he accepts his own nature. The intriguing excuses of Alberto, the husband, makes them reacting towards him trying to solve the puzzle that he consists, when the easy way out of the situation is right near them (like when the wife cannot enjoy being with another man when she has the opportunity or the lover won't accept his female colleague to help getting over him). Three persons portrayed in their interior (the opening credits with the x-rays is one of the most beautiful openings I've seen lately) with their emotions thickening as the film passes. The players of this movie are excellent, particularly Ariadna Gil, the wife. What disappointed me were the last fifteen minutes in which seems that the writer and director of this movie were replaced by others who didn't know what was done before, leaving the ending so pathetic and inconclusive. Still, it is good to watch it.
Man on the Moon (1999)
What would a man gaze from the Moon?
I was not fully prepared to understand the character of Andy Kaufman which I thought at the time, was a made-up character. Nonetheless, the shock of knowing that a person like him could exist was becoming more and more overwhelming as I was watching the movie, and one gets the impression that somehow Milos Forman does not excuse or blame him for what he is as a person, rather he makes a portrait-biography of a phenomenon. And what a phenomenon! For once, he doesn't fit in any kind of comedian we know. Second of all, he doesn't fit in ANY kind of human we deal with, every day. What upsets the most is the way that he considers what's funny and laughable at the cost of people's uncomfortness, to say the least, for what he says and does. He is disgusting, shocking, rude and not the kind of person we should have as a friend as he turns your thoughts into garbage. However, the genius of this "character" is your pursuing of making believe that being alive is the most extraordinary thing on Earth as he recollects all the bad emotions in human being and shows to the same human beings that want all but look into themselves. And he shows them with a great laugh without even consider where the bounds are, as all emotions take part of the comedy of life. But do we really know where are the bounds? When Kaufman tears apart the polish guy for just being polish or spreads his machismo-like thoughts about women; before we discover that this kind of attitude is actually funny material for his jokes, we feel threatened by him. And we still do afterwards. But he's being a comedian because THOSE SUBJECTS ARE FUNNY for him. The question he asks (as well as Forman) but does not answer is why shouldn't we laugh of our very sacred dogmas as humans, regarding that they can change as people change over centuries in their thoughts and prejudices about relationships. Perhaps we should have a little of Kaufman inside us to expand our emotions to the edge as far as relationships in our lives is concerned. After all, that is the fun: being alive and prepare to laugh at that feeling! The other aspect of this movie is Jim Carrey. Before Truman Show I was in the category of viewers that hated him and consider his performances as hysterical and not funny. After Truman Show, which I didn't see, I was very much surprised of what I read in reviews of his performance and I gave him the benefit of doubt. But when I "stumped" in Man of the Moon, I surrendered to him. He is the same Jim Carrey as he is in Mask or Cable Guy, but in so many ways completely different. For once, he is directed and his character knows where to go. On the other hand, he's free to play whatever he likes in portraying this person except that he is, in a way, THIS PERSON! What he gives to Kaufman (note that I don't know the real Andy Kaufman) is genuinely and apparently himself which makes us heart-felted and moved by his generosity in this role. (Why didn't he win an Oscar?) One last word: Somehow extraordinary people are not always the best people in the world but, as Forman shows to us and did in his previews films, are people who expand their views to the infinite possibilities of human life. Like only a Man on the Moon gazing at the earth would view.