Review of The Adjustment Bureau

2011/03/11

The Good

Wouldn’t it be nice to put all of our unknown fate into an identifiable shape, be Jesus Christ, Buddha, or a group of perfectly dressed, slightly understated big time bankers or law firm partners as the case officers in the Adjustment Bureau?  Wouldn’t it be nice to see, to yell at, to stare right into the eyes of fate literally; to negotiate, to inquire, to plea, or to simply to throw a fit, to be stubborn and impulsive with fate?  Don’t you wish sometimes to be able to take a left hook right into his face, to see him in pain, to condemn him… and sometimes, just “to make a run for it”!

Once again, a movie enshrines the magic of the island called Manhattan (and  Brooklyn), and downtown that even angels get confused about its streets.

The Bad

The Angels are so underwhelming.  Maybe that’s the charm?  And the story is quite incredible, saved only by the thin but convincing connection between David (Matt Damon) and Elise (Emily Blunt – thankfully, George Nolfi let her do more than Christopher Nolan allowed for Marion Cotillard in Inception).  They better, what else is there.


Review of POTICHE (Trophy Wife)

2011/03/08

The Good

It’s a a frothy comedy, but managed to touch upon complex issues of gender, personal triumph and defeat, marriage crisis, ideologies and political dynamics intertwined with personal lives. It’s done so without getting heavy, almost effortless, making the viewing experience a delight.

Suzanne Pujol is another star vehicle for Catherine Deneuve. And no matter how many times I’ve seen this, and regardless of her age, she seems to deserve it as her birth right.  Deneuve bounced off descent performances by a star line-up of half of the who’s who in French cinema including the likes of Gérard Depardieu, and it was fun to watch.

The plot and the ending are not over the top, though very polished still somewhat true to life.  Easy said than done for a personal triumph story in a light comedy.

The Bad

Deneuve seems to be having so much fun in her role, but I never quite cared as much.  At more than one occasions, their performance may appear effortless at first, but getting thin and tiring quickly.  The characters’ youthful indiscretions, twists and turns in the plots seem to be strong spices without good food to cling on to.

The Ugly

It is so polished that, at times,  I feel three or four short trailers would have done the job. Kind of  like visiting a small pantheon of contemporary French acting Gods in a lazy Sun afternoon.