Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Movie catch up

Babel: Finally, after missing two opportunities to see it and continually meaning to see it while I was in NY and failing, I caught the big Oscar hopeful. It actually left me pretty cold. I didn’t really engage or connect with any of the characters and felt that on the whole this is a film to be admired rather than enjoyed. I am pleased for Adriana Barazza and her Oscar nomination as that is richly deserved. She was the only character who had any heart or warmth in the picture and her final scenes were truly devastating. I’m a little less thrilled for Rinko Kikuchi who was sullen and pouty when she wasn’t flashing her snatch around. Whatever.

Blood Diamond: Hmmm. This really is not what could be described as a worthy movie yet it seems to think it is. It clearly thinks it’s telling an IMPORTANT STORY. Unfortunately it decides to jettison it for the final third of the movie for some sub par Indiana Jones style nonsense, only to try and pick it up again in a truly awkward coda. Leonardo’s performance is very intense but it’s hamstrung by the most atrocious attempt at a South African accent. Apparently, Mr DiCaprio thinks when South African people shout, they sound American. Djimon Hounsou is utterly astonishing though and makes the whole viewing experience worthwhile.

Last King Of Scotland: Interesting. A clever screenplay that for half of the movie makes you believe Amin truly is the benevolent image he’s projecting while making you want to stab James McAvoy’s character so that when the tables turn in the narrative, you don’t really know where to put yourself. Since Forest Whitaker has chewed up all the scenery and the column inches, nobody has mentioned James McAvoy at all. Which is a shame, as he’s giving a performance just as brave as Whitaker, making Nicholas Garrigan so wholly unlikeable that when his comeuppance arrives, in one of the most unexpectedly brutal scenes I’ve had the displeasure of grimacing at in quite some time, you can’t help but think “well you had that coming”. I have never rated Forest Whitaker as an actor but here he is proof that every actor, no matter how mediocre, is capable of at least one great performance in their career. A lot of his portrayal of Amin is very loud and shouty bluster, with BIG hand gestures, which I’m always suspicious of in a performer as I often think it masks their shortcomings, but he was also chillingly convincing in his quieter moments too. Here’s hoping when he wins the Oscar at the end of the month, he actually has a speech prepared though.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I want to send a campaign ad to Variety.
A picture of the poster from "Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai."
Superimposed over it would be the words, "never forget."