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The Libertine (2004)
Live fast, die young
The uneven candle flame, twitching, lights thin, aristocratic face with arrogant smile and scornful provoking glance. This is John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. A young man, in own way beautiful with some special Bohemian beauty. He frankly warms, that we'll not like him. Without hypocritical shyness, glutting his own truthfulness, he, with some relish, tells us about infinite liberality, intriguing women and setting men's teeth on edge. He made himself comfortable at court, no less comfortably and successfully married, and even more comfortably allowed for free expression of his desires, lusts and passions.
The violent rebel, charming villain, free-thinker, unrestrained debauchee, rake, promiscuous bisexual, unprincipled cynic, John Wilmot, hourly bids defiance to public opinion, Londoners, King, God, life and death. His dirty-subtle lore shocks the feigned-decent ears, his drain-less binges and provocative tricks make his benefactor King Charles II lose his patience. J.Wilmot – is a lucky: young and pretty wife, patronage at the court of, friends-supporters, all the opportunities for creative realization, exceptional talent of playwright, public position and total freedom of expression, which he successfully operates. By his own words, very few people will come near him in tenacity to debauchery. Of course, because all that surrounds him, - is sheer affectation, only illusion of gentle-hood. For what's in his mind is far more interesting than what's outside his mind. He's enticed by absolutely another England: dark, dirty, shameful cloaca, rotting and engulfing. And he, threw himself headlong into this cloaca, conniving at all his limitless and pathologic fantasies.
Soon or later, this excessive disgraceful behavior begins to annoy others: the wife psych out, King rages, society excitedly cackles. Ah, how come: shameless Rochester dared publicly to live like majority just dream about, packing up themselves in cocoon of the fear of God and meekness. What makes this libertine – the desire to oppose himself to morally-good society? He needs to go to extremes, to overstep the marks, otherwise he ceases to breath and thus live He could not dance a half measure, could he? He doesn't even see right to hold back his love in mediocre actress with no outstanding appearance. Day after day he patiently sculpts her talent and, as a result gives a high dazzling polish her modest talent. Eulogistic play for the King? And here Johnny has his special creative vision: his sarcastic freestyle performance is a pornographic representation of a royal court – a kind of monument to reign of King Charles II.
The attitude of John Wilmot - is not to flounder for show in debauchery and habitual drunkenness, but do what is beyond his abilities. He is absolutely sincere in his impulses. And so careless and reckless. All his life – incline, which it is impossible to balance on. Showing principled promiscuity and carelessness, Johnny falls from the incline, and in shattering flight he has time to catch the lost values and rejected orientations. Clinging on leaving seconds of life, agonizing, he took God and, gathered his last strength, went to meet dying impulse - to do anything right, namely: to protect the Royal privileges. The lame, nose-less, half-blind John Wilmot, maneuvering by the crutches, but with congenital feline grace, in graceful manner of plastic, makes a dramatic entrance into Parliament and makes, saying the last of his life in a brilliant speech. He is perfect as never before in this moment, ugly-beautiful in his the most miserable and degenerate human form. Do we like him now? Do we?
Johnny leaves, shuffling from the world. «The withered flower» crumbled into dust. Beautiful, unbridled and dizzy life- bacchanalia always finishes quickly and ingloriously. So ended the life and theater of John Wilmot. The curtain.
The Earl of Rochester – is role for Johnny Depp. «The Libertine» - drama film for Johnny Depp. And in my opinion, it's the most prominent, brightest role of actor. It is impossible to imagine someone else in the image of this contradictory historical figure: the natural charisma combined with Gothic mystery of J.Depp provides him a plausible similarity with his character. Johnny Depp - as the reincarnation of raffish Earl.
The film's atmosphere completely parallels to immoral inside of medieval London: the video is defiantly dirty, hopeless dark, oppressive, blowzy and obscene. This is it's organically-vulgar style of. «The Libertine» - it's none the ode to Sodom, as it can seem at first sight. It is a true story about man, high-handed in his furious quest to overstep the marks, neglecting as decency, morality, respectability and the basic safety precautions. This story tells, that greedy and back-alley intake of various pleasures and dubious pleasures soon or later will wear the body and depersonalize the soul. The rule is simple: any moral flaw is projected in a physiological disease. That is to say, the deep drinker is «awarded» a cirrhosis, evil genius – madness, and libertine - devastating venereal disease. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.
Of course, this movie is not for everyone. Some people, drawn by involuntary hypnosis, couldn't take their eyes off the screen since the very first frame. Others, spitting with disgust, «knowingly» calls names of «bawdry», «bad taste», «guck». While this film promotes to check yourself, our liking, our intellect, our aesthetic perception. The exquisite sarcasm of dialogs and fascinating acting largely contributed to this.
«The Fiennes Supremacy»
Many great actors, having passed a galaxy of the most various movie roles, moving towards their long- awaited and main role – starring themselves. Some of them, accumulating experience for years, were nurturing the idea of showing themselves to the world like they present themselves, like they want to be. Well, that's a quite appropriate vanity.
For so noble and ambitious plan's embodiment Fiennes needed to generate the character, which would miraculously consolidate the predominating and supernatural abilities, being an absolute and complete excellence. The actor's filmography is an extremely replete with bright, charismatic and powerful images, most of which can be revived, refined, having cleared of defaming flaws and weaknesses, supplemented with worthy and strong qualities, to form a holistic and a monumental image of a kind of Superman as a result of this «mutations». And this image was formed. The eponymous Shakespeare's tragedy granted to Ralph Fiennes his desired pedestal. Having rendered thanks to his idol for inspiration, he, without delaying, decisively appeared before mob in the image of a great, brave, proud and invincible warrior!
The quintessence of the vices and passions was concentrated in Coriolanus by incomprehensible harmonious way. Heathcliff, obsessed with passion and revenge, his «light version» - the Count Laszlo De Almasy, cruel and unprincipled Amon Goeth, bloodthirsty madman Francis Dolarhyde (Red Dragon), powerful Lord Voldemort, vengeful and almighty Hades, principled and nervous ribald Harry Waters - explosive and, at the same time, such well-coordinated and impressive combination of characters found it's phenomenal embodiment in general Coriolanus. Red Dragon's strongly pronounced features acutely dominate in Coriolanus. Strong, all-destroying and sophisticated, not knowing fear and pity, rapid and resourceful – the Great Red Dragon, passed the mission's restart. Dreaming about rebirth, he reached it. Now he is a Coriolanus. Submissive crowd looks to Coriolanus bottom-up with the expression with hardened hope on stupid gazes and open mouths, revering with a fawning cringe. That's exactly the red Dragon dreamed to appear before trembling mortals, insignificant and deprived of civil rights, becoming famous over them, reigning and prevailing.
The actor was mesmerized by the most powerful energy message of Butler's character in «Law Abiding Citizen» and his shocking mission. «Wow, what a character! What a spark!» - he exclaimed and rightly decided, that such kind of role would incorporate the previous cult film images and would be a worthy crown of his creativity. «So help me old friend Shakespeare!» - he exhorted his arrogant impulse. And who is worthy to become a competitor of the all-powerful Coriolanus? «Why me not to battle with Law Abiding Citizen?» - it has dawned upon the newly Director, - «Let the trembling mob will understand that there's a hero more powerful and courageous! Let's fight with him, like two rebellious gladiators, on the arena of Rome!». It was a fierce and furious rivalry between the two leaders, two desperate brave warriors. Butler, dashingly pushed into the background, favorably emphasized shade the heroism of raging Coriolanus, humbly and courteously looming in the rays of his glory.
The outstanding Shakespearean drama was repeatedly an excellent support for implement of various theatrical and cinema projects. Shakespeare's idea to create the image of Coriolanus more courageous, generous and honest, in comparison with Plutarch's primary source, undoubtedly played into the Fiennes' hands, who dreamed about the Red Dragon's evolution. True devotee Shakespeare actor, not hesitate, returned origin of his artistic career, seeking the creation of his idol for the long-awaited directorial debut. Whether it is necessary to torment imagination, which is able to give birth to absurd and delusional images under the ruthless yoke of the hypertrophied vain ambitions? The «recipe» is quite simple indeed: fancy pastry on «Shakespeare's» yeast+juicy assorted stuffing from off-suit images+ subtle improvisation. The «pie» is ready.
So, what about the film? Bravo, Ralph! The mob clap! The movie – is a refined impudence. Eccentric and biting version of the Shakespeare's «Coriolanus». To play classics in modern terms is a risky deed, but very attractive. Many people tried, but very few of them managed to surprise or not to disappoint. The screened «Coriolanus» is surprisingly organic and compositional, in spite of deliberately brute performance, aggressive camera-work and exaggerated brutal acting images. Even the female characters make the impression of a kind of steel and indestructible warriors. Subtle and well thought director's work. Not so smugly, but impresses. Vigorous, defiant, and, as expected, dramatic debut.
The prosperity and delight are increased thanks to cast, easy on the eyes. Ralph Fiennes brilliantly realized his autocratic daring attempts in proud and fearless Coriolanus. Legendary and genius «Bella Mafia» Vanessa Redgrave was on the ball once again, standing in the image of Volumnia, the mother of all of Rome. And Gerard Butler as live and spectacular «decoration», which against a background the most significant and profound scene of explanation Coriolanus with his mother turned around of. He had the opportunity to reappear in a shot to triumphantly interrupt the life of Caius Martius Coriolanus in a tragic finale.
In each case when the classical works are mercilessly trampled, one idiom comes to mind: say, that one or the other Author would turn over in his grave, if could see what had been done with his masterpiece. Ralph Fiennes, in my opinion, can sleep a peaceful sleep: the rotating speed of Shakespeare in his grave is equal to zero. I would venture to guess, that a great classic, involuntarily rendered director faithful service, would be pleasantly surprised with so courageous and expressive statement of his poem and wouldn't stint his applause and sincerely praise.
But what the excessive vanity you need to have for making this kind of movie with starring himself? However, the director, not without bragging, confidently and stately declared to the world about himself, as all-powerful and dauntless warrior Coriolanus. It's interesting, what will be the next independent role of the actor? Perhaps God?
The Lone Ranger (2013)
The pirates of the Texas prairie
His incessant costumed screen transfiguration Johnny Depp explains with desire to amuse and interest his own children. But probably Johnny is cunning a little. He didn't play enough himself. This big kid, according as his physical and professional growing, bents for adventures, fairy stories and fantastic plots. As if clings to irrevocably gone childhood, excitedly vesting into an infinite number of variegated magically-fantasy characters. And between these characters, in the «pauses», for the sake of diversity, he embodies into more believable and brutal images of gangsters, writers, investigators, etc. The shy goody Edward «Scissorhands», brave and enterprising Ichabod Crane, controversial and charismatic Captain Jack Sparrow, reckless freethinker John Wilmot, cranky pedant Willy Wonka, vengeful killer Sweeney Todd, charming Mad Hatter, vampire on bonds Barnabas Collins and, finally, the poky Indian Tonto – impressive collection of the most memorable actor's images. Enthusiastic and fruitful cooperation with Tim Burton inexorably led to, that Johnny Depp hopelessly became poppy.
But even such a predictable and caricatured image, which we used to watch Johnny Depp in, did not unexpectedly prevent him to oust to the second place the main character of «The Lone Ranger» - actually, the Lone Ranger, John Reid, performed by the young actor Armie Hammer.
The tall, textured, fair-haired actor in the traditional Hollywood's view – Armie Hammer played his role inaudibly, mediocre and abstrusely, although he tried very hard. So hard, that I wanted him to leave a shot as soon as possible. Somehow there was a persistent feeling, that actor got to the movie because of someone's casual mistake, which he perfectly recognized, but in order to not to lose his face, tried as hard as he can to please the audience, demonstrating the full maximum of what he is capable of. Just like a girls, coming out, put on the best of their everything at once.
The total impression of the film is the same: too much of everything. Very spectacular, very Texas, very stereotyped, very predictably, very stereotypically. If the main character should be a role model of decency and courage by the plot, that then he will be. He responsibly does his duty and reverences the law for the time being. Neither more nor less. And, of course, he is young and good-looking. He certainly has a companion, some extravagant character. The poky Indian - is the very thing. They oppose, of course, to perfidious and cruel villains. One of them most assuredly has a abominable disgusting appearance, another skillfully puts on a mask of a good and tender hearted bureaucrat. What a sad classic of the genre. And, to cap it all, the ladylove of a hero – pretty, desperate widow with bright sonny. That is a typical pattern for a high budget Hollywood adventure western. It is ridiculous for adults, and children don't manage to keep up with rapidity of a plot at all, stuffed with impressive and lightning tricks. Nothing new and unexpected, but it isn't boring and dreary at least.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
The master of deep symbolism, Lars Von Trier, never betrayed to his proprietary style. Every his work – is a thoughtful and subtle concentration of morality's ideas, principles, manifestations of human nature. Each movie of LVT can be cut out into many pieces and consider each separately, explore, analyze, discuss, learn. And you can just understand that fact, that Von Trier's movies – are grandiose cinematographic paintings, touching upon a range of philosophical questions and surveys, written in a unique style with the help of a profound acting.
«Dogville» - is shockingly aesthetic product with deliberate asceticism in the narrative, with the multifaceted semantic loading and deep expressed symbolics. The Author, without false scruple, literally turns inside out the conceptions of morality, good and evil, justice and freedom. All these conceptions coexist in each of the Dogville's characters so distorted and bitty way, that those initial personality's manifestations of each not only aren't true, but, turns out, are its complete antithesis.
«Dogville» makes you think about a lot of things: about the nature of good and evil, about the true purpose of sacrifice. This movie uncovers America: it's far from wonderful and carefree world, where all dreams come true, it's a world, absorbed by a Great Depression, where people have lost their ideals, and the reason for this – irrepressible lust for power. The temptation of power - is one of the leitmotifs of the film. The person, having felt even the slightest superiority over others, feeding his self-esteem, seeks to suppress all who even a little weaker than he. The director gives us food for thought every time, showing that there's a limit to everything.
The ascetic minimalism in scenery is used by the director not as an original move. This is not a creative lugs. It's a deliberate art outline for this story. The absence of traditional decorations, half- empty hangar with layout on the floor instead of houses, atmosphere's theatricality only at first sight arise sensation of closed and artificial space. In fact, this is a very precise godsend, with the help of which, firstly, director presents the story as a parable, demonstrating the story as an example only one of the many abstract fantastic stories. Secondly, this method perfectly reveals structure of the city, where everyone's life passes in full view of others and, it would seem, it's impossible to hide anything. It just and awfully! Everyone knows the secrets of each of the neighbors, everybody see everything, that is happening in every family, and all they are strikingly similar to each other. And, thirdly, the absence of a familiar scenery does not distract the audience's attention from the main thing, and vice versa, concentrates it on every detail, that is a very important part of the whole plot twists.
This movie is about the animal essence, that civilized man so thoroughly suppresses in himself. Dogvillers irradiate warmth and integrity. Their hospitality is towardly, because good will save the world. But the masks come off, and we see the true guise of these compassionate and friendly townsfolk. This is a bunch of hungry dogs, who are patiently waiting when somebody will throw a fresh bone to them. But the main question is put as the curtain fell of the picture. The owner showed up, and the victim, putting upon and tormented for months, finally found her freedom and unlimited power. This victim was full of nobility and forgiveness for a long time. She endured all the torments in the name of good, her ideals were unshakable. Her altruism bordered on egoism. And Grace understood that she was not all forgiving the savior, but the same person, thirsting for revenge, allowing to take shape of her desire to destroy all this miserable town of bottlers and nonentities. And she makes her revenge, reveling in the newly acquired power. She kept alive only a dog, being convinced, how mean and lightweight person in comparison with animals.
But who is she now? The same animal. «Dogville» - it's not just a story, happening with a particular person, this is a movie of each of us, about behavior's psychology, about unfoldment of our true identity. This is a film about human cruelty and hatred. And how we can fight it, not to be tied to the chariot of our emotions and preserving human form, humbly accepting injustice and aggression from the side of others, no answer evil for evil.
And the ending of the movie, just demonstrate to us the most primitive, almost animal way of resolving the problem. But, unfortunately, many of us elect it as an equitable and only right one. And each of us will independently choose the answer, of course, to very difficult question, which Lars Von Trier raise before us.
The Big Wedding (2013)
The big idiocy
I had to watch the «Big Wedding». because I did not miss any movie with Robert De Niro. My expectations for this film, were not deceived, because I don't expect anything good from typical American «wedding» comedies. The venerable and famous actors' starring only aggravated the sad impression. The director allegedly just in case secured himself against the possible failure, having invited the Hollywood «mastodons». Paying a tribute to their talents, the audience will bashfully clench the prepared tomatoes in palms, without having decided on sweeping bombing. Saying, the appearance of stars of the first magnitude will throw dust into gullible spectator's eyes, dispose to goodwill beforehand.
In that cases I am surprised by unscrupulousness of popular and skilled actors, whose long time experience and professional actor's sharpness would certainly signal them about a possible failure. Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon may not fear for sure to be a back numbers and forgotten. In short, they have no reason to grab the dubious roles for the sake of any opportunity to remind the audience about themselves. Therefore, cunning Justin Zackham seduced them with any unknown promises.
The movie is pattern and predictable throughout. Frequently happens, that obsession with creation of an original and witty plot goes through the roof by it's excessiveness and fanaticism, and all the creative power is spent on this senseless rage. Therefore the laborious and rotten project turns out. Despite all the efforts of the Director to try very hard, forcing actors to juggle with extravagant dialogs and spark with firm charm, the sophisticated audience, overcoming a yawn, even at 5 frames knows the further development of the action's scene.
Once again American culture shamelessly showed us the irrepressible craziness on sex, framed in a framework of sad and shaky humor with a claim for a piquancy. Obscene comments, ambiguous jokes and vulgar pun play on words, risky teetering on the brink of «scatological», compel the face muscles to portray only poor excuse for grin.
And, unfortunately, this is not that case, when the star cast rescues the movie from a deafening failure. We can enjoy the playing of Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams with pleasure, focusing our perception exclusively on their charisma and talent, as if they played thematic sketches before the public. Such authoritative actors can be quite silent on the screen, and we will be delighted with expressiveness of their silence. We'll never see the poor and unconvincing playing from them. And if the bright and comedy actors' images in «Big Wedding» by no means can't be a merit of the director, so it would be unfair to award this movie even with the minimum praise for only cast.
It's even strange that it happened. It's possible to spread out widely and fancifully in the genre of a «wedding theme". And all the more so for remake's creation you can take into account the flaws and omissions of the «original», modify the script with more witty humor and directing finds. Then you're not ashamed to invite such well-known actors. And the director, in spite of his diligent efforts, so shamefully fumbled: spoiled the decent philosophical idea with so primitive and sluggish giving.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Born to be a hero
Unfortunately, for some reason Kevin Costner didn't have the reputation of a talented actor. It would seem, that he has everything: he is a courageous, handsome, textured. He could play both brave daredevil and degraded debauchee-ribald. And he played, but evidently didn't convince exacting critics. Well, let so be it. All the same we love him. He nevertheless won critics' hearts by his director's talent. His epic western film «Dances with Wolves» - the confirmation of that.
This is an extraordinary story about extraordinary man. Each of us makes strides along the road of life with one or another destination, leaving the tracks by acts of various kinds. Somebody sows the good seed, somebody destroys everything, somebody creates for the welfare of science and culture and somebody aimlessly goes down with the stream in expectation of opportune destiny. The character of « Dances with wolves», First Lieutenant John Dunbar doomed to be a hero. His heroism is not the ostentatious prowess and thirst of recognize, it's his self, his way of life. His conscience, his spirit and his desperate heart lead his acts. His vital desire don't come to conquest of all possible and impossible heights, he violently persists in discover the frontier within himself.
Growing roots in an uninhabited fort, stoically and thoroughly overcoming the harsh natural conditions, John Dunbar conscientiously and patiently waits for other soldiers. At first sight, he's absolutely lonely. But he realized very quickly all advantages of his loneliness: finally he was left alone with himself. Getting acquainted with Sioux, with their way of life, rituals and law, he doesn't look for personal gain. His aspiration to become closer with new neighbors, to be imbued with their traditions and, in the end, to become a part of their tribe, was dictated not by desire to relieve the lonely pastime or establish the good neighborly relations with strangers. All his acts – are heartfelt needs heart and soul. The destiny an incredible way throws John in the dizzying centrifuge of even more incredible circumstances, which frenzied rotation only strengthens his will and morale, opening him his true capabilities and personal orientations. Going over to the Sioux side and fighting against the U.S. Army, Dances with Wolves has no doubts in his right choice and actions. He doesn't compromise with his conscience, he acts jointly with it. He had found himself, the meaning of his way, and he didn't betray these acquirement.
John Dunbar stepped into a heroic way from his birth and relentlessly moved on it even on unconscious level, without changing neither his route nor to himself. Ha was a hero even before accomplishment of his heroic feat. He went all his life to these and subsequent feats. John Dunbar didn't become Dances with Wolves, he became himself. And those circumstances, which thick he gets into, only push him to the frontier within himself, his genuine predestination.
The staggering movie! And staggering Kevin Costner!
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Hitler's kaput by Tarantino
Well done, Quentin! What a prankster! Well, how else to acquire refinement in the desire to repeat the success of «Pulp fiction», except not to encroach upon the Holy of holies – untouchable history? I mean the history is not in the abstract sense, but only one of its specific and significant milestone – hard times of great disasters. Intrigues of Nazis don't cease to chafe the itching imagination of figures of cultural and art. Daring daredevil Tarantino also decided on an original experiment in the genre of alternative history and built, in a rollicking manner peculiar to him, his version of the fall of Nazi Germany.
«Inglourious Basterds» - is free and easy, bouncy, very juicy and sparkling show. What the relish and unbridled irony Tarantino mocked the most colorful Nazi bonzes with, giving the unconditional supremacy on parody grotesqueness of Adolf Hitler's image. The expressive and eccentric character's images together with fabulous and extremely funny dialogs successfully compensated the effect of excessive longueur.
Yes, the film is a little boring. But this blemish, in my opinion, is quite explainable. Tarantino, making his way through the throes of art, worked on the script of «Basterds» for more than 7 years, repeatedly disemboweling and cutting out again the storyline. The Director, in his own words, riveting his best masterpiece. And when the spiritual creator turns thoughts to his brainchild, long pining in a belly of his fertile imagination, he is unable to limit and pacify the stream of his creative conscience, which was tore outside. When you make something welcome and inspiring, it is very difficult to interrupt this fascinating process in cold blood.
The movie's atmosphere is already extravagant, blood-aesthetic and bouncy as usual. But acting didn't strike with anything special. The familiar, self confident and moderately histrionic Brad Pitt's type organically merged with the image of Aldo Raine, without showing us any of the amazing wonders of acting. The tacitly eloquent, as if hastily invented image of Hugo Stiglitz, smoothly muffled played by Til Schweiger, rather disappointed. Michael Fassbender, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger and Eli Roth didn't stimulate any visible and distinct emotions at all. Just quite decent, compliance with the spirit of the script, satisfactory acting.
But quite another matter – the image of Hans Landa, effervescently and fantastically embodied by Christoph Waltz. Charming, charismatic «Jew Hunter», tricky villain, aesthete-polyglot, filigree wise cracker Hans Landa – the blinding pearl of movie.
«Inglourious Basterds» - it's not just traditional cinematic product, which is a collection of all necessary components. It's not just a plot, competently stuffed with all sorts of director's godsends, and not another, even original attempt to rethink the historical process. Quentin Tarantino, skillfully playing, weaved the intricate and elaborate cobweb, having thought over and having worked in details each ornament, each texture, providing his unique «design» with indispensable attention and success. This bizarre cobweb, woven from the intriguing plot, expressive characters and images, sparkling humor, numerous art- scene references, fruity dynamics' violence, owing to it's daring specifics won't probably cause unanimous delight and approval, but will reliably provoke the interest and desire to untangle its masterful artful design.
And thankfully, that Tarantino's plots are predictable the non- standard specifics. Tarantino never will disappoint us with a tragic strain and won't cause the attacks of nausea from overly snivel romantic stories.
The attempts of «raids» on the Tarantino's idea to pass the laurels of victory over Nazi Germany to Americans, look like absurd and pathetic efforts. Yeah, say the Russians missed Hitler, but the bunch of Americans, according to Tarantino, plainly fried the whole top of the Third Reich at one bout. Why so seriously to perceive this movie? And why in the world the American director must create to please to the Russian patriotism? If the agility of fictional Americans jars and revolts somebody - save your nerves and don't watch this movie!
Sweet November (2001)
The filthiest love-story
Hollywood with some special perverted love savors the snotty and tearful melodramatic plots, where the suffering an incurable illness hero/heroine is given the place of honor for. Directors in the different ways, with the most compassionate and touching paints present us the sufferings and uncontrollable regrets of fateful luckless persons, spice a plot with romanticism of all shades of pink, for more tragedy. We sincerely empathize and sympathize with their disasters, we rejoice and inspired with their will to live and we condemn, when they enervated obey the fate, reveling in their misery.
But the heroine of «Sweet November» - an extraordinary and eccentric personality. Cultivation the victim of fate's injustice in herself – is not her inheritance. She invented her original way to paint with all the colors of the rainbow her remaining days. Sara Deever – is a daffy, wild young woman, prone to every kind of eccentricities. Beautiful, young, kind and energetic. But, alas, Sara has an incurable disease, and her days are inexorably beginning to wane. So why not to arrange the dying fairy show for herself? And Sara decides to have some fun in the end. She chooses fancy males virtually from the crowd, swoops on them, like a shattering tornado, knocks the poor guys down with one kick of her charm and sudden onslaught, after that she takes root into their life with imperturbable and pushy impudence, overturning upside down the usual orders and already existing vital ways. Sara sees exceptionally noble altruism and sincerely desire to fill a life of her next chosen with new, true significance in her action. Having tightly locked a door in the habitual life, Sara's chosen gets her as a kind of a gift. The deal is valid for a month. After the lapse of which brazen altruist Sara coolly turns her confused and love with her boyfriend out of the door, because the next candidate who dreams to quit his adjusted life for the sake of shady and ambiguous adventure, looms over the threshold. Such fate was prepared also to Nelson Moss, the character of Keanu Reeves.
Nelson - the young and ambitious careerist living only by work. Discouraged by Sara's so gusty and extravagant impudence, Nelson all the forces resists to her invasion into his adjusted and vigorous life. Her delusional conditions, doubtful and alluring promises are not laid into the head of a pragmatic and self-assured young man by no means. Gradually, still continuing to go reflexively obstinate, Nelson does not notice as falls in love with this foolish, but such charming eccentric woman. Sara's plan, well developed by months, fails: Nelson casually discovers her illness. The tragic and romantic ending approaches.
Sara can hypocrite to herself and others as much as necessary long, sincerely considering, that her lifestyle is a saving mission. Justifying her brazen interference in life of other people with desire to open them eyes on all its delights, to teach to enjoy all its displays, having removed from monotony and idleness routine, Sara, like a complete egoist, simply treacherously breaks in others lives, destroying the colorless and steady rhythm. Having been satiated properly with the next boyfriend, irrevocably making the poor guy to love yourself, she ruthlessly throws him out as the used discarded material. And she wanted to spit on the following sufferings and distress of her guinea-pigs. According to Sara, disease provides her with undeniable advantage, that gives her the right to play with human feelings and lives, to using any opportunities and circumstances to catch convulsively up for the missed pleasures of life.
The nasty story. Even the considerable quantity of various romantic "pieces" and casting of my favorite Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron couldn't sweeten the sickening sediment. That's a distorted understanding of love and romance.
Schindler's List (1993)
The doubtful masterpiece
Very difficult to make a generic and objectively assess to this movie, which there are some righteous doubts in the authenticity of the historical background in. But Steven Spielberg, preferring to take on faith a history of the German businessman Oskar Schindler, with his characteristic royal scope, built his own «spielberg's» version of the story, that impressed him, editing the storyline, characters and types of the main actors in accordance with his personal and commercial considerations.
Only abstracting away from the doubts in plausibility filmed story, I can appreciate enjoy a film with unbiased perception. It is possible even to seek assistance with a particular extent of delight under such stipulations. A beautiful and moving story of selfless and honest German businessman, member of the Nazi party, Oskar Schindler, a brave, daring, going against the system.
But importunate and suspicious taste of something unnatural and inedible prevents obediently to chew and swallow the product prepared by Spielberg,having never choked.
What was guided by Steven Spielberg, forcing him to stop his choice on a candidature of Ralph Fiennes for the Amon Goeth's role? Maybe his diabolical sexuality? But, pardon me, the real Amon Goeth evoked a completely different impressions! He inspired fear and trembling! Make-up artists vainly tried to abundantly dye in a dark the reddish color of the face's «vegetation» of the actor; the actor vainly rehearsed in front of the mirror the most disgusting and frightening cruelty's «symptoms» on the his face; he vainly stuck out his unnaturally drooped, due to excessive «Guinnes» consumption, belly, - Ralph Fiennes was hopelessly far from a real Amon Goeth. The Spielberg's idea was realized! The Director's idea to draw the increased attention to historical-biographical drama of the female audience with the help of the charming «bad boy», who gracefully shoots, as morning exercises, the Jews, frightened to death, from his villa's balcony, - is failed to cheer him. It was successful so well, that we don't feel fair disgust and loathing for Fiennes's character. On the contrary, sometimes we laugh over his comic remarks and ridiculous pomposity. So where disgust will undertake from, if the adventurous Director turned cruel, mentally unbalanced alcoholic into polished glamorous SS-dummy!? Women are thrilled and fall into a hypnotic trance from his painted bottomless black eyes, men delightedly appreciate elegant SS-uniform, perfectly tailored fit, and negligent, but so graceful possession of firearms. That's a truly excellent and win-win move! It's hard to call the real Goeth even a little attractive and charismatic. Especially in the years when he became a commandant of Plaszow. Overweight, with a huge shivering belly, with a bloated of regular alcoholic libation, lop-eared, balding guy with the loathsome appearance, he doesn't distantly even remind the noble thoroughbred appearance of the British actor. The question is, why Tim Roth's candidate, originally proposed for the role of Plaszow's commandant didn't please Spielberg? That's really who would fully embody this odious image, having forced the audience to feel hate and contempt for his character. Having conveyed the impeccability and truthfulness of the story, the Director wouldn't receive delights and falls of thankful sobs. His ennobled and presumptuous Oscar Schindler had to be pleasant to the audience by all means, having excluded any suspicions in decency and unselfishness of his true outbursts. His glossy and dandified Amon Goeth, also should not have caused the unanimous disgust among spectators, but finely contribute to the commercial success of the film. And these characters were undoubtedly successful! With the only one amendment: they are hopelessly far from their real prototypes.
Why the eminent director so responsibly and meticulously approached to selection of the skinny and too exhausted men and women, participating in the crowd of prisoners of concentration camp, but so ridiculously missed with the main embodiment of the evil in the movie? Just only one Steven Spielberg knows, why the main characters and story lines of the screened story are so mercilessly deformed, while the secondary moments are scrupulously and meticulously closed to the reality But as a result, everybody remained happy: the Director didn't manage to count the box office and receive enthusiastic praises of film critics choking with impressions, actors "coin boxes" were replenished with new characteristic roles, and the audience that believed in a fairy tale of good and unselfish German businessman, didn't manage to change handkerchiefs, become impregnated through with their fluids of snot and drool.
What in general to create the caricatures on tragical, historical and biographic dramas for? The talented Spielberg has many excellent movies in different genres, from the same military And to science fiction, so it is possible to turn around in the full extent of his inexhaustible and rich imagination within the screenplay. But no, he prepared his project for years, diligently and concentrated studied biographies of heroes, met with eyewitnesses of events, carried out an actor's castings, so the audience saw the upside down turned story in the end. The story, where we with equal degree of sympathy treat both charming Oscar Schindler, and deliberately comical and not less charming Amon Goeth, with manicured fingers and porcelain face from the excess of make-up. And, by the way, «Schindler's List» - is one of the movies-the Champions of the number of absurd and rude goofs. Alas, it often happens, that the grandiose plan is realized in the same grandiose project, it interferes the deep perception with it's coverage and the grandiloquent announcement, programming the «consumers» for quite expected unanimous, just weak-sighted admiration.
By the way, Roman Polanski ignored the search of weedy and bony actors for his crowd scene in his «The Pianist» , but he is fully focused on the main thing, creating almost identical to the real cinematic images. The Director honestly conveyed the authenticity of the story, without romantic embellishment and alternative finals.
But Steven Spielberg believes that he has all the reasons to rewrite the history.
A Single Man (2009)
Surprise from Tom Ford and Colin Firth
There are a lot of films about homosexual love. A number of good films about homosexual love much less. But there are only few of the gorgeous, subtle and profound films about homosexual love. «A Single man» - is one of those rare units. And even if it is a new challenge for society and for a long time failing foundations of morality, but, unlike most motion pictures with a similar «problems», «A Single man» is deprived of aggressive provocations. This drama is not shocked viewers, not urges understand that love is beautiful in all its manifestations once again. This intelligent and refined movie, affecting the most vulnerable and delicate strings of the soul, affecting perception.
A feeling of touching the creative product arises from the very first frame. This is not a soulless mounted film, it is an ideal and intricately cut dress. Exactly. «Maestro» Ford's hand is felt in every frame. It's not professional and highly refined directing, it is openwork quirky art. Ford like himself, without the assistance of numerous tailors, at first accurately plan, then manual and jewelry stitch knit his creation «Haute couture».
Such an unbearable final! Expected, intuitively guessable, but impossible and intolerable! Bitter, tearing the heart of its equity. Yes, it is the same unalterable truth: no matter how hard life is, no matter how it seemed empty, hopeless and is pointless - it is the most valuable gift, tired of which is an ingratitude and unpardonable sin to cast it aside.
Despite the biting drama of the plot I want to dive into this film, revealing the soul without mercy, dare to feel every emotion, experienced by heroes. It's not an exciting action, but our eyes stayed glued to the screen, fearing to miss even a fraction of a second of happening. There are no superfluous frames in this movie, no meaningless episodes and tedious deviations. Every detail is unique and distinctive: every gesture, every phrase, every gaze. Every moment is filled with the finest aesthetics. All the most important aspects and components are amazing organically and skillfully combined in the movie: the deeply-psychological direction, the languorous «cognac and coffee» camera work, open dramatic acting, living art entourage, amazing soundtrack, simple, but consuming ironic dialogs and the plot causing disruptions of audience's heart rate. Not every melodrama with the «classic» love story permeates the soul so skillfully, making the way to the heart, which is painfully clenching from a drama anguish.
Courageous and quiet Colin Firth's charisma not absolutely prevented him to be a multi-skilled actor. There is no wonder, that Tom Ford chose his candidacy. Slightly stern face, strong good complexion, balanced facial expressions and smooth, but clear speech. A kind of cold-blooded and majestic Viking with a penetrating alive gaze. This is George. The indomitable outwardly, self-assured, charming, slightly prudish intellectual in stylish glasses. Lost, bereft of meaning, with a pang inside. The George's role finally helped Colin Firth to tear off a firmly grown mask of «Mr. Darcy», which, despite the impressive number of a variety film roles, tightly merged with the actor's image.
The sustained sufferings, without picturing hand-wringing and desperate cries, fits of hysteria and the head beating against the wall – that's a dramatic minimalism in acting with a convincing psychological depth of experiences. There are no any platitudes and simulated exaggeration, excessive passions and provocative riot. This is «gently», gallant and delicate story about the misery and suffering of a lonely tormented man, expressed with excellent sophisticated style of a newcomer in directing.
Certainly there were many grumblers willing to criticize the pomposity and aesthetic richness of visual range. Say is it worth to frame such unbearable gay's suffering in such a highly artistic and refined cover? Let the soul's torments unfold in traditional dull-gray tones, it's no need to stress suffering with strokes of gloss and decorative theatricality. Groans a La Fashion. Suicide's preparation with the costume, unfolded on the table, - like scene catwalk. In my opinion, this is an outright ignorant bias to Tom Ford's craftsmanship. Similarly, as if the film was made by a dentist, critics will surely appeared, which instead of encouraging the director newcomer's decisiveness, they have been mocked the operator's focus on the actor's oral zone with indispensable demonstration their full dentition. There were «originals», thus criticized Tom Ford for his flamboyant fashion. But what else can we expect from designer? Every creator has his own «handwriting». We don't expect, for example, that Baz Luhrmann will change his traditional chamber music and drama in favor of other receptions! We don't also expect, that Quentin Tarantino will be satiated with his love to the plot's absurdity, making a clear and linear narrative, which there will be no place the violence's aesthetics cultivation in. In the same way, it would be foolish to expect something else from Tom Ford, entirely unusual to him. Any Master puts all the best, that he has, in his debut creation, using his most winning and favorite «tools».
Brave and commendable experiment! In my opinion, this experiment was shiny successful to Tom Ford! Now, if the other designers followed his example, running their debut movie! Curious, what would they get? What kind of playful surrealism would Jean Paul Gaultier birth?
Mystic River (2003)
Another lesson of life from Clint Eastwood
It's not necessary to hope for unpredictability of Clint Eastwood's movies. However, one can confidently count on a harrowing drama, bent fates of heroes, high quality acting and tragic happy ending. Recognizable and unchanging Eastwood's style.
«Mystic River» - is exception. It is one more harsh and thorny drama with the deeply tragic storyline with the broken and tragic character's fates, involved in its center. Clint Eastwood, like the all- seeing and understanding wise man, learning the life and all of it's, even the most inaccessible and unbelievably cruel sides, he opens to us the most dramatic, the most hysterical and acute-social life scenarios through his cinema works. He with peculiar to him filigree psychological thoroughness, demonstrates to the audience the multifaceted gallery of human images, characters, vices and passions. Using the most intricate and diverse circumstances and moves, he, like an experienced and talented grandmaster, makes these human figures fancifully move on the life's chessboard, provoking it's inevitable and sometimes fatal interactions and collision. Each Eastwood's Director's work is a good faith and underlying psycho-sociological survey of human nature's demonstration.
«Mystic River» - this is another variation on a burning and very touching literature's and cinema's theme: the revenge of desperate, suffocating with rage and sorrow parents for their children death. But Clint Eastwood – is a wise, extraordinarily deep and versatile director, whose movies is rarely reveal only one issue. «Mystic River» is a cruel drama about family values, friendship, and that only one raving impulse, based on too obvious conclusion, is able to trigger the irreversible act, which will tragically change the lives of several people. This is another cautionary tale from the wise man. The story about three 40- years «kids», whose ways of life are tragically separated in one moment to be crossed 30 years later under more tragic circumstances. True to himself, Clint Eastwood will never spare the audience. At first, he will achieve from us the sympathy or aching pity to his characters in all possible ways, after that will ruthlessly and cruelly crush them by all imaginable and unimaginable in its cruelty life cataclysms, and particularly poor and downtrodden by life heroes he'll kill at all. Almost like Dostoevsky.
There is no need to retell the plot of the movie. This film is necessary to watch, to form our own opinion. The psychological tension will keep us from the very first frames. But you shouldn't expect from the Eastwood's movie extremely topical action and ingenious intrigue this time. It's a detective drama, not without strings and twisted confluence of the plot, but the narrative's focus is aimed at three deformed and unfortunate fate of the main characters, their loneliness, their pain, their regret.
Acting of Eastwood's films traditionally impresses with its deep anguish, powerful and heavy influence and drama. Certainly, it is impossible not to note the performers of the main roles, received the Oscars for the «Best Actor in a Leading Role» and «the Best Actor in a Supporting Role» - Sean Penn and Tim Robbins. This are not entirely new and unexpected actors images, but, nevertheless, brilliantly and plausibly expressed. Sean Penn - in the traditional image of revolting gusty criminal «element», who imagines himself a punishing finger. Tim Robbins, at first sight, reconciled and a diligent prisoner, with a day by day looming intention to be heard and understood. And Kevin Bacon, rushing between them, made the difficult choice between professional duty in favor of the former friendship. Each of them once sat in his car and left in an unknown direction, towards their own destiny
Once again, the wise «old fox» Clint Eastwood allocated responsibilities the viewer for the verdict of the main characters actions. Once again he palmed off to us what kind of obvious, but at the same time, ambiguous ending. Clint Eastwood's movies - are not only ready instructive, full of wisdom and life lessons, stories. It they provide us with an opportunity to deal in the web of the human soul and essence, not limiting our perception imposed images and standards.