Monday, December 20, 2010

A few films ...

I have not posted as regularly as I hoped, but here are a few of my recent NetFlix views:

 Jules and Jim (1962): A World War I French drama directed by Francois Truffaut, and starring Oskar Werner and Henri Serre as friends (Jules and Jim) in love with the same woman, played by Jeanne Moreau. The film starts out sweet, then morphs into one more strange and disturbing as the triangle persists. It surprised me more than I expected, and presented three interesting, flawed characters I wanted to learn more about. The ending blew me away. I did not see it at all. Plus, it features wonderful cinematography of Paris and the French countryside. These kinds of movies always make me wish I was European.

Wendy and Lucy (2008): When Wendy's (Michelle Williams) car breaks down in a small Oregon town on her way to Alaska, her sole companion, her dog Lucy, disappears. As she tries to find Lucy, viewers learn she is broke, homeless, and dependent on an Alaskan summer job to make ends meet. This movie made me sad, as it seems Wendy needs more than a small intervention to pull her out of this. The ending almost had me in tears. This is a slow, quiet film (no music, except for  Lucy's humming), but I think it's worth it if you choose to watch it. Williams is a good actor, but I think Wendy and Lucy is more about the story.

Chinatown (1974): Okay. I did not care for this one. I rarely enjoy Jack Nicholson's acting, (besides The Shining he has never completely transformed into any character for me) and Roman Polanski's films are hot and cold for me, so I knew I would have a difficult time with it. I appreciated the film noir references. Any L.A. setting looks its best to me when it's set in the '30s or '40s because it just has that fantasyland vibe. However, I found it slow, and, maybe I have a "young" attention span, lacking enough throughout to compensate for this. Nicholson just played a "Nicholson persona," and Faye Dunaway looked pretty, but nothing more. The story kind of interested me, but not in the way the film told it. However, I think John Huston gave the strongest performance, and I dug the final "twist," though (trying not to write spoilers) it and the ending disgusted me. Still, nice cliche avoidance there, and I think the script wanted me to feel that way. Maybe I was not paying enough attention throughout, or maybe I need another viewing. I don't know. I think it has good aspects, but I am not obsessed like other viewers.

The Internet Movie Database message board for Chinatown, by the way, is hilarious. Apparently, anyone who does not worship this film is twelve and watches nothing but Transformers. Isn't it more like, different strokes for different folks?

So ... hopefully I will not get behind again, and will post more as I view. Gotta love the holidays!



Shybiker said...

Thanks for sharing your cogent opinions on some interesting films. It's good to explore old and obscure movies; I do that all the time. It's nice to read your impressions of them.

Film-criticism on the net is so full of awful and inaccurate comments that I don't read it anymore. The "opinions" of nasty people sadden me.

tess said...

Francy, I apologize for forgetting to stop by your blog for a month now. I have no good excuse other than blogging and keeping up with everyone hasn't been my main priority this past month, but now that I'm on break I plan to remedy that.

I really admire Michelle Williams for her unique and brave film choices. She certainly doesn't pick anything with blockbusters in mind. She's one of the few actresses with a sense of integrity that doesn't harp on about it (cough Natalie Portman and her comments on the 'craft' of acting cough). She let's her films speak for themselves and there's such a wide range for hers that you cannot peg her. Still Wendy & Lucy seems like a difficult film to watch.

Francy Flicks said...

Ralph- I agree (obviously) with net reviewers. It's more just ego battles than actual smart conversations. That's too bad. I love talking about movies (again obvious) but I don't want to feel intimidated about it.

Tess- Don't worry about it! Blogging was definitely not a priority for me most of this semester either. Plus, you were overseas meeting people and having good times. Thanks for stopping by now, though :)