Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Celluloid #31

In Theatres

The Wrestler (2008) Aronofsky - While we get a glimpse into the world of professional wrestling, primarily this is a story about a has-been. Randy "The Ram" is a lonely loser who isn't cut out for anything besides wrestling. Unfortunately, that leads to the destruction of everything else in his life...his body, his relationships, etc. Mickey Rourke does put in an amazing performance and I like how there isn't a big plot line and I like the ending. My only qualm, and I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but it really bothers me, is how Aronofsky doesn't trust his audience to make the "Christ-figure" connection. I mean, it's a film about a dude with long hair who goes through a bunch of shit...I think anyone could figure it out without Marisa Tomei's little speech about the "Passion of the Christ." 4.5/5

In Home

Cautiva (2005) Biraben - A young girl turns 15 and shortly after finds out that her parents aren't really her parents. In the middle of adolescence, her entire identity is called into question. Her biological parents were "disappeared" by the Argentinian government when her mother was pregnant. She is court-ordered by a judge to live with her biological grandmother and begins to conduct her own investigation into what happened to her parents. Shot in a realism style and comprises an impressive debut film. 4/5

Rivers and Tides (2003) Riedelsheimer - This is a documentary about Andy Goldsworthy and his artwork. Goldsworthy is known for ephemeral sculptures made of ice, driftwood, petals, etc. but also pieces like the lightning rods in the Southwest and in this film his work with stone walls. I personally like Goldsworthy's work and he seems like a nice guy, but things get pretty New-Agey at times. 3.5/5

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) Naruse - A woman works in a geisha bar and wants to open her own establishment. Her independence is looked down upon by her family and several men who all encourage her to remarry. She becomes hesitant to follow through when she sees the hardships facing another woman bar owner and she receives several marriage proposals. It's a pretty film, but nothing fantastic and fairly old-fashioned (not that it should be held against it..) 3.5/5


Saxon said...

Evan Rachel Wood has to be the worst actress on the face of the earth. Love the film but her performance compared to Tomei and Rourke makes some of the scenes seriously imbalanced.

Still...great film tho.

Roman said...

Long haired guy who goes through a bunch of shit.

nora said...

My attempt to see The Wrestler was thwarted by the longest Cinema 21 line I had ever seen! Despite the frigid temperatures, the queue flowed steadily down the street and curved around the corner. Perhaps a weekday will prove a more likely admittance.