Posts Tagged ‘Mathieu Amalric’

Quantum of Solace: Rough Around the Edges and Liking It

November 19, 2008
Chasing down the neigh-sayers.

Chasing down the neigh-sayers.

The new Bond film, Quantum of Solace, has a really slick energy behind it. At moments almost a little too stylized for it’s own good, but I’m not complaining! I like style, especially when there’s an intriguing story, and this particular one picks up right where the last one left off. Finally a soap opera for dudes, that doesn’t include the Saw films.

And who doesn’t want to see Daniel Craig grow into the role of the Bond we remember, and when we get to the Bond we remember, will we want him again? (Judging by other reviews they’d rather have a character that feigns emotions, rather than has them!) This new Bond…rebooted Bond…is so intriguing and driven. Craig adds more nuances to Bond than most actors do with “serious” roles. Driven by things he doesn’t quite understand himself. Calculated coldness and emotional turmoil and he’s still got a sense of humor that pokes it’s nose through on occasion. And sometimes he doesn’t say anything at all. What can he say? If you don’t remember Casino Royale, this is an injured man.

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“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”: Effective…but Great?

January 22, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

***There are minor spoilers throughout as this turned out to be more of a critique than a review.***

I’ve come to a conclusion over my limited years of movie viewing that there can be a difference, albeit a very abstract one, between a great movie and an effective movie. Both categories share similar qualities which makes it difficult to tell them apart sometimes. They share the skillful touch of a true craftsman, an absorbing musical score, lush visuals and fine performances, but in the end sometimes even the greatest movies lack in their effectiveness and vice versa effective movies aren’t always great ones.

For a great movie to be ineffective, the third act sometimes fizzles away, or it could simply be that certain elements don’t gel so the emotional connection is lost. A great movie might play more to the intellectual side of the viewer, relying on the audience to fill in the banks, consider this years Charlie Wilson’s War or perhaps There Will Be Blood (great movies, but effective only to a point.) On the other hand an effective movie will through the use of certain creative techniques force you to feel what the main character is going through. Sometimes the method used can be tedious, other times overwhelming and many times exhausting, but when done well can envelope you into the mindset of it’s protagonist. Of course when these two elements are combined you have an Oscar winning film…(right?) I would say Zodiac and No Country for Old Men fit into this category.

Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is an incredibly effective film, but I would argue against its true greatness. It follows the life of former Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric) between the moment he wakes up from a coma to find that the only part of his body he can move is his left eye (called lock-in syndrome) to the publication of his book which the movie is based on.

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