Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two sad movies

I've recently watched two movies, Bubble and The Weather Man, which had little in common except for the fact that they both made me sad.

Bubble is the Steven Soderbergh movie that was released simultaneously in theaters and on video. I linked Bursting the Bubble schadenfreude by Jim Emerson which covered this subject not too long ago. At this point, I think the questions are when and how this will work for all movie and not if. The only thing that will save movie theaters as a business is if they can imagine up a new, much better, business model, which is something they seem unwilling to do.

The movie itself is quite wonderful. It's slow and careful with a very naturalistic quality to the look and feel, with almost no lighting except that which existed on location and only non-actors playing the various roles. It will probably rub a lot of people the wrong way. It proceeds very much like real life. People take actions that make a kind of basic sense, but you can't always put your finger on the whole motivation.

It's a movie of awkward silences and even more awkward conversation. It's a story of people and how all of our relationships affect the people around us, often while we have no idea. I'm hesitant to go into further detail about the story, as how it unfolds is a big part of the movie itself. I'm also not sure how I feel about the movie itself, but I know I've thought about it a lot since watching it.

The Weather Man, on the other hand, is very much a Hollywood movie. It aspires to be a very good one, but it doesn't fully succeed. I salute Gore Verbinski's skills as a director. The movie is nicely paced and amusing even when it's not fully compelling.

Nicolas Cage is a peculiar choice to play the handsome and somewhat shallow weather man leading character, but he brings a distinct charm and humor to the role. Michael Caine is, of course, wonderful as the father, funny, thoughtful and a little sad. Unfortunately, not all of the relationships in the movie are as developed as well as they deserve, which should be fatal in a movie that attempts to be about a man trying to fix all of his relationships.

Somehow the energy of the movie and the sincerity of Cage's performance make it surprisingly successful. It certainly left me feeling sad about my own place in the world and among the people I love. Maybe I was just particularly sensitive to the issues brought up, but it's definitely worth a view.

1 comment:

Erech said...

JUST got done watching the Weather Man here. I agree, although I think I need a few days to soak it all in.

I liked it more than maybe I should have though.

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