Friday, July 21, 2006

Familiar, but not.

I watched The Hours this evening. I didn't know anything about the movie, other than I remember it being mentioned a few years ago concerning Academy Awards. It's a moving film. More than any other movie I've seen lately, the acting was so natural that it made me feel as though I was just watching things happening through a window.

The movie is chock-full of good actors. A theme seems to have been hiding them behind all sorts of masks. The most famous is probably Nicole Kidman's false nose, which does amazingly change everything about her face. More than that, I was amazed at Ed Harris, who's character is dying from AIDS. He looks awful. Beyond the makeup, in retrospect I'm fascinated with his body language.

Even the small roles are excellent. Jeff Daniels, who is playing a character so different from what I'm used to that I had to try to figure out if it actually was him. Allison Janney, who has a short amount of screen time but manages to give her character a place in the film, such that it would be less without her.

The press (and even the back of the DVD box) talk about this film being a meditation on suicide. That is certainly a powerful force throughout. But it seems to me it's more about choices. Choices, and who we live our lives for.

All of the characters have to make choices. Choices about whether or not to continue living their lives the way they have until that point. It seems to me that this is the sort of movie some would consider depressing, but I found it largely life-affirming.

Not to mention that it gives me plenty to mull over. I love that about movies. Unfortunately, I'm starting to expect superior quality from my movies; I may be setting my standards too high, or setting myself up for disappointment if I accidently see something awful or even mediocre.

I was telling someone earlier today about going to the movies with a date who was astounded that we actually watched the movie. She'd never gone to a movie on a date and had that happen. I, naive as ever, couldn't imagine paying 20-some dollars (total) and not watching the movie.

No doubt I missed the point, as always.

1 comment:

  1. Then what was she doing before---nevermind--dumb question.

    Speaking of great movies and relevance to your posts, have you seen the movie Contact? I think you'd like it--it's one of my favorites.

    Like the new format, and great post--as always.

    Elizabeth

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