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The Order (2003)
Quite interesting and aesthetically well thought out
Although Benno Furstmann took awhile to catch fire- I thought his look and
performance were unusual and interesting. Heath Ledger has one tour de force
scene which made me think of his acting in a better light. I'm surprised that others thought it confusing- quite easy to follow- but a new story. Having been brought up a Catholic it probably resonates with me a bit more. Peter Weller is always great to watch! Some beautiful shots and fresh religious and
architectural ideas made it better than average.
Me Without You (2001)
A real look at women with depth and foibles sustaining a friendship- Why is this so rarely done? The details are succinct and amazing. This is what real people look like and act like- when they're tired, confused, angry, jealous etc., etc. No glossing. By showing the 'bones' of the characters' neuroses the evolution of the people themselves and their friendship becomes complex and satisfying. And,
hey, the period details are fabulous- I was right back there with them wearing tarty, tatty club clothes and listening to Adam Ant with fake pirates. Loved this movie.
La mort en direct (1980)
Why have I never heard of this film before?
This was listed on a commercial station (55- in NYC- thank you!) and was
played with mercifully few breaks. Still! An amazing, timely, quite profound and haunting movie. As mentioned elsewhere it is a bit ponderous and does
meander, but the best moments are gorgeous. Spoiler?: (Harvey catching sight
of the intimate moments he's filmed in a grocery store and realizing the betrayal of trust he has engineered.) The brief soliloquoy by Max Von Sydow on the lack of 'meaning' in life- which somehow is comforting! The version that another commentor mentions wherein Romy (and without you
other cineastes I wouldn't know that this was Romy's last film- what a waste!) is not dying- is just being set up- that would make perfect sense. Harry Dean is fabulous- why doesn't he work more? Please consider upping the rating of this.
Has its own charms
I would watch Christian Bale read the phone book so I was a pre-prejudiced renter. At first I was annoyed at how derivative the movie was- 1984, anyone? And I found The Matrix- especially the sequel- too boring for words. But the acting began to grip me, and though the story has been told many, many times in all the movies other people have mentioned- this film has its own charms and as it gathered momentum I found myself enjoying it . (A few minutes of a bare chested CB didn't hurt, either.) And for some reason, even though I am not a big action fan- I found the execution of the fight scenes really great. Emily Watson looks beautiful, Taye Diggs as well. I always find Angus MacFayden (sp?)
interesting to watch. I would recommend this.
Laurel Canyon (2002)
Wonderfully intelligent and nuanced
I watched this film for the first time last weekend and enjoyed it so much I watched it again. Got even more from it the second time around. If only there were more like it! Messy human relationships rendered perfectly and acted superbly. The interplay between Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale is just right. No Hollywood glossing over, tied up in a bow. Natascha McElhone exceeded my expectations. And, of course, Frances McDormand- playing against type- and easily sexy and attractive as a complicated and successful woman working with artists. The find of the movie to me was Alessandro Nivola whom I had never seen before. When I first saw it I thought: "Wow- they got a real rock star to do a great acting job." His playful flirtatiousness and seduction techniques- let me just say- whew. Will be looking for him in the future. Lisa Cholodenko's other movie I'm familiar with "High Art" was terrific- but this was a movie to own.
Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)
Sentimental but wonderful
Not only is it interesting to see Edward G. Robinson and Agnes Moorehead play against type the movie has an amazing scene of a Wisconsin farmer that is the antithesis of the rest of the movie. Real and profound. Not that all the characters and the movie itself don't have a bygone, sentimental Americana appeal.
Margaret O'Brien reflects her era and the film is anachronistic but Dalton Trumbo's writing manages a more universal message. I had never heard of this movie before and Turner Classic Movies keeps surprising me with their treasure trove. Get out your handkerchiefs.