Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Devil and The Departed

I finally got round to seeing these two movies, which opened last week. I have let so many movies slide over the summer and into the early autumn, and there are SO MANY coming up that I am dying to see that I figured if I don't see these now, then I never will. And I'm so glad I did.

The Devil Wears Prada was silly fun but at least it knew and revelled in this fact. I have a secret crush on Anne Hathaway anyway (I totally watched Ella Enchanted just for her) so even if this movie SUCKED, I would still have enjoyed watching her. But it didn't suck. It made me laugh and it didn't bore me. Meryl Streep was glorious fabulous as Miranda Priestly, giving a performance that was a masterpiece of understatement. There is something far more unsettling about contained fury and it's much more interesting to watch. However, the film belongs to Emily Blunt, who as Miranda's first assistant, has a fair amount of the best lines and lands them all with a deadly accuracy. I've been a fan since I saw her first ever professional performance on stage opposite Judi Dench so it's pleasing that she stole so much of the limelight here. Eye candy came in the form of Adrian Grenier. But he always looks dirty to me. And not dirty in a fun sexy way, but dirty in a "here's some soap" kind of way.

The Departed is sheer genius. Scorcese's best major film since GoodFellas. A remake of the Infernal Affairs trilogy collapsed into one big movie, the 150 minute running time actually feels too short. Hopefully there will be a 4 hour director's cut some day. The performances, the editing, the direction, all are spot on. For me the biggest surprise was Jack Nicholson, who's always Jack Nicholson, but even he decided to turn in a performance. Okay it wasn't perfect, it was a titch incoherent in places, but that I think is down to the running time. There is, of course, Oscar buzz for this already. I don't think it will win anything. I'd even be surprised to see it nominated to be perfectly honest. Why? It's too violent and too complex for the Academy. I might be wrong, but Scorcese hasn't been shown the love from them, ever. I doubt they're about to start now.


dickygreenleaf said...

Glad to know you liked 'Prada', Poppy. Isn't Meryl just sublime. Your comment about contained fury is so accurate, too; so very unsettling. And there's nothing at all wrong with being dirty in a 'here's some soap' kind of way. Mr. Grenier would soap up rather well, methinks.

Tom said...

I can't agree that THE DEPARTED is all that it is cracked up to be. I'll agree that this is his first film in a while that doesn't sink under the weight of its own technique, like GANGS OF NEW YORK and THE AVIATOR. But I just don't see that it is really anything terribly special. An entirely okay movie.

I have to say one thing though. I really hated that final shot. What the hell was that? Did Scorsese think I wouldn't have gotten the message without it? Please.

Eric said...

Adrian Grenier falls squarely into the "DP" category, fully agreed.

Can't wait to see the Departed.

Limecrete said...

Eye candy came in the form of Adrian Grenier. But he always looks dirty to me. And not dirty in a fun sexy way, but dirty in a "here's some soap" kind of way.

I really don't get his appeal. He's not a particularly good actor, and he looks like a muppet that needs a shower.