January 8, 2012 · 11:46 am
Silent movie, in black&white. With text boards to highlight essential bits of dialogue. So annoying! I couldn’t lip-read and a silent movie is such an enormous effort one has to make to focus on the plot and imagine the dialogue! For it is a full blown silent movie. With the exaggerated acting and gesture, with theatrical miming, with so much unexplained. And yet, the schema is magnified and in the majority of cases the following plot points are easily preempted and obvious. The film depicts an idyllic world, where money is only a topic when it suits the plot and in general no serious issues are touched upon.
I believe the crew had an incredible amount of fun making the film. It is made in full (as close as possible) in the genre, only the music is added to the soundtrack rather than played by the orchestra in the cinema!
Interesting experiment. I felt that had they done the same in colour – a lot would be gained. The costumes, the props were a great effort and a lot is lost in b&w technique.
It is not a must though. There are other films in the cinemas these days that may be more worth watching. It’s good, but not brilliant in my humble opinion.
November 27, 2011 · 12:01 pm
A disappointment. I was hoping for a solid biopic. It’s a shame because with the budget and with the names on the poster, it could have been a much better film. I spoke to someone before viewing it and we concluded that Scarlett Johansson might have been a more true MM. Well, as it turns out, she was one of the big celebrities who actually turned down the role. Was it because of the thinness of the script? It may as well have been the reason.
The story is shallow and fails to turn MM into a valid human being. For the last two decades there was no film about the famous blonde and this attempt is quite frustrating. Despite the fantastic work of set decorators, costume designers, despite great music and interiors as well as locations (including Eton, Windsor etc.) the film is a weak reflection of what it could have been.
Dame Judi Dench, Kenneth Brannagh, Emma Watson… cast as if to compensate for the failures in other fields. Michelle Williams may be a good actress but there was a very limited amount of material for her to use her acting skills. Such a shame. Such a disappointment. I am still waiting for the next film, which will feature a fatter, full of sexappeal star and waiting for a script fully and fairly presenting Norma Jeane in her prime.
Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews
Tagged as 1950's, eton, GoldenGlobe 2012, judi dench, kenneth brannagh, London, marilyn monroe, michelle williams, pinewood studios, production, romance, tale, windsor
November 21, 2011 · 8:44 pm
One of those films that should really be watched more than once to appreciate all the little tricks and layers of meaning.
After a too long introductory scene of shots of Paris, which can only be forgiven because it’s a Woody Allen, the audience gets immersed into a seemingly typical Woody Allen set. There’s a clever guy hopelessly trying to prove that this other man drawing to him the main guy’s woman is a loser. Surprisingly, this time Woody Allen is played by Owen Wilson. And very successfully. Maybe making a point that Allen’s ideas do not age and his characters are stuck somewhere between 35 and 43 with the eternal and universal every day issues of jealousy, pose, snobbism and inconvenient truths. Also the in-laws and their superior nonchalant treatment of the main character as if he weren’t an adult man responsible for his deeds and actions. A beautiful comedy of manners. As always.
There is more.
There is the philosophical trip through time where the main protagonist realises that being hooked on the past may not be the solution to living in the present.
There is an incredible mind game questioning his existence. What he sees and whom he meets becomes the best ever riddle and proper entertainment for those a little interested in the work and the great minds that resided in Paris during the Golden Age between WWI and WWII. An absolute must to anyone who a) appreciates Woody Allen and b) is fascinated by 20th century literature and philosophies.