Monday, August 25, 2008

My Wong Kar Wai Night

I am addicted to gorgeous films and Wong Kar Wai ("In the Mood for Love," "2046") is one of my many enablers. I just finished his heralded today, bottom-of-the-Blockbuster-rack tomorrow romance, "My Blueberry Nights," his first English-language effort. I had been mighty excited about this movie from the moment I heard about it in the beginning of '08. It received a lukewarm response from critics, probably because it's not much more than shallow fluff. Still, it's more romantic than many of the kitschy chick flicks to come down the pike and, definitely, much prettier.

The cast, aside from newcomer and soundtrack provider Norah Jones (who's okay, but should stick to music), is comprised of Oscar nominees and winners all around. Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz and David Strathairn all play people whom Jones' character bumps into on some pointless, cross-country road trip. These big name actors are given little to do in this short and only adequately scripted journey but they're time on screen just enhances its beauty that much more. We see them through the text-covered windows of bars and bakeries, in the colorful glow of whatever light Wai felt suited the scene and on street corners (not like that) across the U.S. Wai uses that ghostly slow-mo that shows up in most (all?) of his titles and it works when he's not too self-indulgent with his shot durations (perhaps he's caught Van Sant's linger-itis).

For Wai, this is sub par work but it pours colors out of the screen and it leaves you feeling as warm as a slice of blueberry pie.


1minutefilmreview said...

Nice review. Loved the film, We're Wong Kar Wai fans too.

Kurtis O said...

Why, thank you! I wouldn't consider my blurb a review, per say, but I appreciate the comment. Please keep stopping by for more!