>Nat Film Festival – Day 4


Blind (Netherlands, 2007) – “All right, we will start the story; when we come to the end we shall know more than we do now.” And so the film begins, borrowing the famous lines from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Snow Queen. It’s winter, and in a dark and isolated mansion, lives a blind young man and his mother. She’s been trying to find a caretaker lady to him, but all of them run away due to his violent attacks. One day comes Marie, the woman who will change everything in this young man’s life. The Snow Queen is the story she reads often to him, calming him down little by little. They fall in love, despite the fact he can’t see her. He thinks she’s a pretty 21-year old red-haired with green eyes, whereas she’s around 30, albino, and full of visible scars on her face, remains of a mysterious past. When there’s a possibility for him to recover his sight by doing a surgery, Marie disappears. Madly in love, he doesn’t forget her.

The film’s premise is good and interesting, however, it is not executed in a great manner. There are few past takes about Marie’s childhood, that only incites what might have happened to her, not only phisically as well as emotionally. It would be obvious to say that “love is blind” is the film’s theme, perhaps, something like “real beauty can only be appreciated through dark” or “there is beauty in things we can not really see” could be an answer. Like in the obvious, however, beautiful, metaphor created from the image of the young man, now cured, with his eyes binded. He sees bright spring colours in a landscape where there’s nothing but barren trees and the whiteness of snow. Cinematographly the film is stunning and outstanding, altering the taciturn darkness of his blindness with the luminous colours of his imagination.

Dan in Real Life (2007) – Among violent crimes, kidnapped young women and an unhappy romance, I didn’t mind seeing something lighter in between. Dan (Steve Carrell) is a responsable widow man raising his three daughters, and he has always placed his family’s needs ahead of everything, including his own happiness. He’s spending a weekend at his parents’ house, and at the same day, he meets in a book shop Marie (Juliette Binoche), a beautiful woman who could be the one. They talk, there is a great chemistry in the air, and he’s finally determined to struggle in the love field again. There’s only a little detail: right after he arrives at his parents’ house, he discovers the lady in question is actually his little brother’s newest girlfriend. Poor Dan!

One can guess by the film’s trailer almost everything about the story. Like many family comedies (could it be a comedy genre? Think of The Family Stone) there are always strategically pre-created situations that create humour: the cop who appears in the wrongest time, one of Dan’s daughter who enters in the bathroom to finally ask tips to Marie about how to figure out her own future, while Dan himself hides in the shower… Many times these situations do work, however it’s hard to believe in Marie when she behaves in a childish manner during Dan’s date to a gorgeous childhood friend (Emily Blunt, having her talent wasted one more time), nevertheless, it’s all in order to make the audience laugh, I suppose. Carell is good as the family man, and as for the film, it’s obviously predictable, but far from bad.

My Blueberry Nights (Hong Kong, China, France, 2007) – In a perfect idyllic world, there’s Jude Law in a new yorker cafe, along with a tasty piece of homemade blueberry pie waiting for you, at any time, at any day. That could be my humble definition for Wong Kar Wai’s latest achievement. Yup, I’m with those who were disappointed by the film. Norah Jones‘ boyfriend leaves her, and she leaves their flat’s keys with Jude Law, in case the nameless guy returns. She eats a piece of pie in the nearly empty cafe (there’s only her and Jude), and then travels around USA, meeting different characters along the endless road. Everyone has unsolved life/love problems. The world is unperfect and tough, and she works as a waitress in different spots, while Jude desperately calls different establishments to find the woman with a broken heart (Wouldn’t it have been easier to have traded e-mails?).

One of the characters she meets in her soul-searching trip is a man (David Strathairn) who refuses to accept the fact his much younger wife (the always gorgeous and wonderful Rachel Weisz) left him for good, which is the strongest subplot, with a powerful and moving monologue by its end. Another interesting character is a young woman (Natalie Portman, also wonderful) who gambles to conceal her loneliness. However, this is one of the most superficial stories in the film, one of those I wish I could have known more about. The stunning cinematography and other great aspects of the director’s typical visual style didn’t make me forget the film’s unpolished dialogues.

24 Comments to “>Nat Film Festival – Day 4”

  1. >Nice blog, and nice reviews too…

  2. >I felt the same way about My Blueberry Nights- what a let down. I hope he gives up on English language film, or at least finds a really good scriptwriter to work with.

  3. >glad u liked dan in real life – i am a huge steve carell fan!

  4. >1minutefilmreview: Thanks!Laurakitty: It was exactly the script what disappointed me, I'd have never expected that from a Kar Wai film. And not to mention that casting Norah Jones was a mistake.Modern Marie, the film is a good fun to relax the brains.. ^.^ I like Carrell.

  5. >emily blunt is the nest rising super star!!and her style is so chic and vintage

  6. >aizat.cinta.goddess: I really hope so, as I loved her in "My Summer of Love" and "Devil wears prada". I hope that after The Young Victoria she will never play roles like the ones in "Charlie Wilson's War" and "Dan in Real Life" again.

  7. >hmm blindness did sound interesting until you said it wasn't done well…was it worth watching at all?I really love Dan in Real Life- steve carrell is great even when he's a total jerk (ie the dinner where they interrogate marie), and i love the whole crazy family dynamic- it works well, plus the quirky indie soundtracks- i know its predictable, but they all are, this one was done so well and actually humorous, the shower scene was greatoo too bad about blueberry, i might see it anyway, but your review is similar to many

  8. >2046 was so brilliant, it's hard to think that he could have done anything disappointing- but if this does make it to theatres here, I'll probably watch anyway. Though Blindness sounds like it's more interesting..

  9. >Ah, e estou esperando seu texto sobre "Angel". 😉

  10. >Romeika, fiquei bem curiosa a respeito de "Blindness", mesmo você dizendo que a premissa não é bem executada.Quero muito assistir este "Dan in Real Life", assim como "My Blueberry Nights", apesar de não esperar muita coisa desse filme do Wong Kar Wai.

  11. >e ai Romeika … tó devendo um comentario por aqui … ehehemas gostou do que viu?eu adorei My Blueberry Nights e pelo jeito vc também ou não?abraços

  12. >I really like your review of the first film. It makes me what to see it. I've put in into my to watch category.My Blueberry Nights is a great film.

  13. >Amo Steve Carrel, muuuito engraçado!viu virgen aos 40? é para chorar de rir :)mil beijos romeika!

  14. >Jayne, yes it was really worth watching it, the acting is great, and the cinematography is stunning. Ah, I love that dinner scene when he's being so sarcastic!Blue Floppy Hat, I liked "Blind" better than this Kar Wai's film. I haven't seen 2046 yet, but it's in my plans.Kamila, "Blind" tem suas virtudes, se tiver a oportunidade de assistir, veja. Acho que vc vai gostar de "Dan in Real Life";-) O texto de "Angel" ta demorando, mas vai sair heheJohnny, nao gostei muito do filme do Kar Wai. Abs.Fashion Ivy, see "Blind" if u can.Kira, vi o filme do virgem, tem seus bons momentos, ele realmente eh muito bom pra comedia. Beijos!

  15. >Your analysis of My Blueberry Nights matches perfectly my impressions! Unfortunately, the stunning visual style couldn't save the movie.Cheers

  16. >Darling, I have watched "my blueberry nights" and your words are SUPER ACCURATE! I will definitely try to watch "Blind" – it sounds like a sophicated movie and I love your description!

  17. >blueberry nights is such a shame, what geat potential, even the storyline seemed like it'd be fantastic and beautiful… I guess there's alwys such a risk of letting style overwhelm substance.'blind' sounds really good though! must track it down.

  18. >Of the three, the one I most want to see is Blueberry Nights, wich came here to the theatres but I lost it because of the bus drivers strike. Nobody says it's wonderful, but it must be at least good. Dan in Real Life i'll see for Carrell, I think he is great. Now, Blind really intrigued me, and the actor is brilliant.Ciao!

  19. >I really liked Dan in Real, I was impressed with Steve Carell's acting.

  20. >Grinda, exactly! At least the visual was stunning. And some of the acting really good. Cheers back ^.^Times of Glory: "Blind" is far more interesting, I think you'll like it;-)Headmistress: I thought it would such a great love story, but not even that moved me at all, such a shame, indeed. Very different from his other films. Wally, I think you'll at least like "My Blueberry Nights". I like Carrell too!fashion chalet: Yes, he's the best thing about the film.

  21. >Adoro sues post sobre filmes e afins! Dá para eu ter uma idéia do que vale mesmo à pena ver!Adorei!

  22. >Carolina, valeu! ^.^ Mas veja os filmes que tiver vontade, vai que vc goste de algo que nao gostei, afinal, eh apenas a minha opiniao;-)

  23. >I have already said that Wong Kar Wai´s latest movie is a flow, i really think that it has a lack of something in the history, is not the actors or the visual style but something that gets the audience deeper into it. Dan in the real life is a flow, a very deep flow because they have all the elements to do it better and they didn´t use it in the end and the result is very simplistic and careless movie; what I expect to see is Blind, I heard a lot of things about it that I really expect the premiere here in Méxicom unfortunatelly, here is released in four months, anyway I should be waiting for itCheers

  24. >A.R, exactly. There was something deeper missing, perhaps something that would have made me believe in that love that grew btw the two characters.. It didn't work for me. I agree with ur negative comments about "Dan in Real Life", although I liked the film. I think you'll like "Blind" ^.^ Cheers back.

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