Elizabeth's heart is broken. For solace, she drops in late at night a few times at Jeremy's diner for blueberry pie a la mode; they talk. Once, he watchers her sleep, her head on the counter. Abruptly, she leaves New York City to get away from her pain. She works a couple of jobs in Memphis. There, a heart-broken cop is drinking himself into oblivion, his ex occasionally showing up where he drinks and Lizzy works. Then, she's in Nevada, working at a casino where she uses her savings (she wants a car) to stake Leslie, a busted gambler, in a high rollers' game. After, Beth drives Leslie to Vegas where Leslie's estranged father lives. Broken relationships. What about Jeremy?Written by
Wong is one of our three greatest living filmmakers.
He has transformed imagination for a planet. When real histories are written, artists like this will be appreciated for what they begin, giants compared to politicians who can only try to end things.
His last four films were transformative. Now he tries something outside his realm of mastery.
Like his main character, he has decided to travel the US in search of love. Also like his main character, he doesn't care about the story, only the afterglow. Its the mood that matters. In his previous films, he literally works without a script, creating an obvious vacuum where the story would be.
Here, he simply adopts a story that is so vacuous it leaves a similar hole. With a lesser artist, you would actually pay attention to the story and wonder about it. I suggest you simply ignore it, providing it with no more semiotic weight than the doorknobs which are so carefully photographed.
The idea here is simple: he finds a woman who by herself evokes a mood. He's done this before, and found creatures whose screen presence melts boundaries between stones allowing transparent slipperage. In this case, its Norah Jones, who does have a charm. His key image is of her drunk asleep on a diner counter with crumbs of delicious pastry on her full lips.
The way he's chosen to carry her image is through her songs, which contain a deceptive tension of confident tentativeness. This is a woman who is intensely unsettled and so is settled in herself. Jude Law plays a sort of urban domestic who prepares and waits, simply waits and draws her back.
In between the crumbs and the kiss are adventures with two women played by Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman. They are placed as outer bounds on two sides so that our character's stone can slip home. One is remorsefully constrained by neediness, the other guiltily unconstrained. Both lose men, but not our heroine.
Christopher Doyle is not present on this, and its obvious that it is part of the risk Wong is taking: new country, new language, new mode for moodiness, new crew altogether. Different sorts of lingering and saturation.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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