Saturday, October 25, 2008

Complaining? Check. Halloween? Check. Movie Review? CHECK!

Why the heck are there suddenly fruit flies swarming my house? Is it not October? Do I not generally put food away in a timely manner? What is with the infestation? On another note, why am I actually posting this evening even though my computer is still on strike? Because I have access to Jim's computer, as he is out of town until tomorrow. So I had a wild night of grocery shopping and rice cereal spooning and multiple bathings! But it's cool. I actually went out by myself the last two evenings, sans children, so, you know, turnaround is fair play.

Last night I went to an... Odd Christian Halloween-alternative event put on by my old church/school. It's called Final Judgement, and basically, you end in a silver-tinsel bedecked vision of heaven after having journeyed through the depths of hell, complete with fog machines, cranked up heat, and screaming demons. And... And it was just so disturbing. On so many levels. The only reason I even went was curiosity, because back in jr. high I had been a cast member in this event several years running, and I was eager to experience it as an outsider looking in. Well. That was an experience I could definitely have done without. I'm so embarrassed I used to take part in it! Worse is that I genuinely believed I was doing the world some service! Gah... I'll just say this: it's no wonder so many people get turned off to Christianity in this country.

The evening prior was spent much more pleasantly, watching The Duchess with my mom after having dinner out, including wine and excluding baby food or chicken fingers. It was a great movie, I thought. I almost want to go see it again to more properly absorb it. Which means...

That's right, kids, it's time again for another installment of Desperate Housewife Movie Reviews! Today's film in question is the aforementioned historic drama, starring Keira Knightley, which I had the privilege of enjoying in a COMPLETELY EMPTY theater two nights ago. Said emptiness could, I suppose, reflect poorly on the movie itself, but I choose to believe it more reflected the fact that it was a Thursday night in a town where many people have recently cut back on their spending.

Anyhoosiers, it was awesome. So much better than The Other Boleyn Girl, which I had anticipated much more intensely. The acting was very good, I thought, and all the players well chosen. No one overdid it, really, and there was a kind of spareness and reserve to the script that left just the right amount of emotion and motive to the viewer's imagination. Well, ok, maybe not just the right amount. I could have done with a deeper look into some of the character's baffling behavior. But overall I prefer vagueness and lack of explanation to films that go to awkward pains trying to explain everything via dialogue, to the detriment of realism.

The time period (immediately following the American Revolution and on the cusp of the French Revolution) is one not often seen from a British point of view in films, so that was an automatic interest factor for me. The scenery was opulent and amazing (as is often the case when a movie is about a VERY RICH PERSON) and the costumes and hair seemed painstakingly accurate to the period. Sometimes horrifyingly so, actually- I don't know how women could even hold their heads up with such enormous and elaborate wigs on.

My only complaint would have been the camera work. My mom and I both kept noticing how WAY too many scenes ended in close ups of faces, especially the intimate ones. We're talking close up to the point that I could see the ingrown hairs and razor burn on Duke what's-his-nuts' five o clock shadow. That is something I would prefer to have glossed over, personally, but perhaps I'm too idealistic in my cinematic tastes. Maybe you will enjoy the razor burn. But either way you should see this film. Especially since it is based on an actual person's life. It's history! It's entertainment! It's a win-win!

8 comments:

Shelly Overlook said...

Did you read the Duchess book? It's the Georgiana one, right? I love that kind of stuff, too. Haven't seen the movie yet but I felt the same as you did about the Other Boleyn Girl, so I hope to see Duchess one day.

Swistle said...

Oh, I am so HAPPY to see a post from you!

Jana said...

You should seriously consider becoming a full time movie critic. I love your movie reviews; they are a billion times better than those by the Ebert/Roeper snobs.

Shelly said...

Thanks for explaining Judgement House. I've seen them several times, but I've been too scared to go through them. Thanks for confirming that they are exactly what I thought they'd be. Now I never have to go through one. And I love the movie review. I'll check it out when it comes out on dvd.

artemisia said...

Oooh! Thanks for the review! I've been debating whether to see this or not. Now I know - I will!

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

Nice review! Hey, for those wretched fruit flies, put a little red wine vinegar in an open cup overnight and they should be gone within a day or maybe two.

Kelsey said...

Blech, I hate mystery fruit flies.

I have heard about those alternative type haunted houses. . . I think I'll just be avoiding all such things, thanks!

LoriD said...

Fruit flies are the bane of my existence. For some reason they haven't been as bad this year as in the past - maybe they've all moved to your house!