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MWood919

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3 reviews in total 
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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Best Short at SDFF, 23 September 2005
10/10

This was my favorite short film that I saw at the San Diego Film Festival. It was very funny, very smart, and was amazingly well executed.

Donovan Oakleaf was wonderful as Thor, the "always-down-but-never-beaten" male lead. The guy you want to win because you know he never really would. Great comedic timing in his performance.

Alexandra Thum was also great as Lisa, Thor's star-crossed lover. Their chance meeting is written perfectly in a scene you'll never forget.

And my favorite was Greg Lee (that guy from the "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" TV show) as, well, lets call him the narrator, just to be safe. His character was the icing on this cake, and the simple fact that he was written into this script makes it much more magical, comical and entertaining. You never know where Greg is going to pop up, and that's half the fun. (I don't know if writer/director Suny Behar had this in mind, but if so, great nod to Max Ophul's "La Ronde" with Greg's character!)

If you get a chance to see this film, I highly recommend it. If you don't, your life's luster will shine that much dimmer for it. So try to see it, OK?

P.S. I want this film on DVD.

At Last (2005)
9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Great Romance Film, 23 September 2005
8/10

I saw this film tonight at the San Diego Film Festival and it was easily the best one I've seen so far. The production value was wonderful - great acting and direction, great lighting, unobtrusive but appropriate music... a great use of the location. And best of all was the fact that this is based entirely on a very true story. It was great to have a Q&A with the couple upon whom the film was based (co-writers Tom Anton, Sandi Russell).

It was simply a very sweet love story that was told in an amusing, charming and romantic way. Again, nods to the great performances by the two leads, as well as that of the brother of the male lead. In fact, there wasn't a single bad performance, down to the 8-year old son.

Great date movie. Very sweet.

29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
A Refreshingly Masterful Work of Art, 8 May 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`In The Bedroom' is a beautiful film, brilliantly paced, slow but steady, climaxing with Sissy Spacek's smashing of a plate on the kitchen floor, then rolling heavily into the intensity of the inevitable but shocking conclusion.

Spacek's character describes the torture of the emotional rollercoaster she feels after the murder of her son: "It comes in waves, and then nothing... like a rest in music - no sound, but so loud." Thusly she describes director Todd Field's unique story-telling style. Much of his film seems to take place in that musical rest.

The first and last acts are vaguely sprinkled with a hauntingly beautiful score by Thomas Newman. But the center and longest act is void of score, leaving us to grapple with the non-cinematic, chillingly real emotions that these characters seem to be sharing directly with (or hiding distinctly from) the viewer.

Cinematically speaking, the story is like an extremely well-crafted painting where the smallest, seemingly insignificant details are made noticeable in a device used by Field to allow us to peer deeper into the emotions set within the scene or shot - not merely at the shot itself.

Unanswered questions and vague silences, which would never work in a more contrived picture, speak volumes here, adding shape and depth to the overall story. And while some might see this film as morality play boosting corporal punishment and an "eye for an eye" mentality, ultimately it plays more as a story that tugs at the heartstrings and plays on one's fears purely for the sake of entertainment. As much as one could look for moral opinions in Shakespeare's "Hamlet", we moreover come away with an epic story told through masterful techniques - just as easily as with `In The Bedroom'.

"In The Bedroom" is not a Hollywood action-flick. This is not a summer-sizzle-fest or anything fitting of such tacky terminology. This is a perfect example of modern Film-as-Art, a classically crafted story told by modestly stylized means, and it's good to see such quality work emerging in this era so saturated with cinematic cliché.

Although quite unique, the film did bring to mind several other films that seem to compliment its style and mood: Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven", Udayan Prasad's "My Son The Fanatic", and Robert Redford's "Ordinary People". All are films that explore the dynamics of extreme challenge and change in the lives of thoroughly defined characters. `In The Bedroom', however, seems to stand out in this company as the example of a masterpiece.

GRADE: A