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The Shunning (2011)
Book to Movie - Not Translated Well
It's been awhile since I read the book, but the translation to movie didn't quite work for me.
There were a number of things that felt wrong. For starters, the actress playing the main character, Katie Lapp, had makeup on in every scene. A lot of makeup. Amish don't wear makeup, and I even noticed some of it on her mother. This bugged the crap out of me, like they weren't willing to make their main actress look just a little 'less pretty' (in their eyes) to maintain authenticity.
Plus, I felt the actor for Daniel Fischer was much too young and didn't quite fit the picture in my head. Ah well, that happens though.
They rushed through the shunning scene much too quickly, as well. A pivotal scene in that book/movie, they should have shown it how it actually was (if I remember correctly, in front of the whole congregation).
I still enjoyed the movie, but overall the level of acting and the little details like makeup (and flawless hair for Katie Lapp) just didn't do it for me.
The Joneses (2009)
The Jonses is one of those movies that perfectly balances meaning and entertainment.
Throughout the movie, there is a subtle rebuke of the world's materialistic lifestyles. I greatly appreciated the tact with which this rebuke was employed - there was no stirring speeches about getting back to the more important things, no one character screaming "this is wrong,this is wrong - what have we become?" Instead, the characters and the story obeyed the classic writing/movie rule to "show" instead of "telling." And the way in which this was done, to me, rang with a pure note of style.
The acting in this movie was great, as one might expect from Demi Moore and even of David Duchovny. With some elements of humor and romance, it seemed to me a good fit for both men and women alike.
My only problem with the movie was the brief nudity (see parental guide for description). This is purely a personal dislike, but it seemed to me unnecessary and it put the movie into a rating which I don't think quite fits it. The Jonses doesn't feel like an R-rated movie to me - but for the brief nudity. Still - viewers who have no qualms with nudity in movies will not be bothered by this.
Finally, the unique and intriguing plot of the whole story was fascinating to me. I don't want to spoil anything or I would explain further. Once you watch the movie, you will understand exactly what I mean.
All in all, I found The Jonses to be an intriguing and entertaining movie. I heartily recommend it to any adult, whether or not you are interested in its social commentary.