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Water for Elephants (2011)
Old Hollywood Movie
Water For Elephants takes us back in time, not just because it is set in the 30's but also because the movie is filmed with such quality and attention to detail, it is very much like movies used to be made. No reliance on CGI or profanity to make up for lack of imagination either. The dialog is crisp and the film adheres very much to the spirit of the book, even if things were consolidated or omitted for the film.
The cinematography is lush and if the film doesn't win an award for it, it will be a travesty.
And the performances are wonderful. Christoph Waltz is captivating as a complex character and Reese Witherspoon walks a fine line (no pun intended) between the role of a dutiful wife and that of a survivor. But it is Robert Pattinson who delivers a range of emotion not seen from him before. He is understated and again reminds me of actors of old - Gary Cooper specifically. He plays a gentleman and a scholar but also shows passion and intensity. Any doubt viewers might have had on his abilities as an actor are wiped away, as he more than holds his own in scenes with two Oscar winners.
This is a must-see movie for anyone wanting to see more quality films and less action-packed/violence ridden/computer enhanced drivel at the theaters. Bravo!
Remember Me (2010)
Compelling family drama
I went to see Remember Me as a fan of real-life Robert Pattinson vs his acting. I realize Twilight is no barometer of his skills. That said, I was blown away by his scenes with his father, sister, mother, friend, girlfriend & cop. Each relationship involved a different dynamic & exposed another facet to the character: angry, concerned, protective, remote, humorous & contemplative & each relationship evolved, revealing layers of meaning. He was surprisingly subtle & in the moment. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the camera loves him.
Emilie deRavin is immensely likable & fresh & her scenes with Chris Cooper & Pattinson were honest. Pierce Brosnan & Cooper both inhabited their characters with gusto & provoked equal parts sympathy & scorn. Ruby Jerins is a gem & will go far in the business. Her scenes with Pattinson were the highlights of the film.
In addition to solid performances, the script & cinematography worked to paint a gritty, realistic, honest examination of relationships, consequences & ultimately the meaning of life. Sounds cliché & it could have been, but Remember Me is deeply moving & forces reflection long after the credits have run.