Posts Tagged ‘romantic drama film’

Closer – A Bit Distant

Posted 26 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Closer, USA / UK, 2004

Directed by Mike Nichols

Closer is a 2004 romantic drama film written by Patrick Marber, based on his award-winning 1997 play of the same name.Mike Nichols is a hard director to stomach sometimes. He has a way of making characters crawl under your skin, when that’s the very last place you want them. Such is the case, anyway, with the four characters in Closer, Dan (Jude Law), Alice (Natalie Portman), Anna (Julia Roberts), and Larry (Clive Owen). This is a film that assumes an old truth: look at a painting from far away, it’s perfect; look at it point blank, and you’ll see all the cracks and imperfections that destroy its image. Closer, like the characters who inhabit that truth, is one of those paintings, or maybe that holds true for photographs as well. The movie itself acts almost as a montage of snapshots and freeze-frames in these characters’ intersecting lives. Of course, if every picture is worth a thousand words, you know you’re in for a verbose screenplay. Thankfully, Patrick Marber adapts his own play for the film, which keeps the words intact. Read More

Water for Elephants – The Greatest Show On Earth

Posted 19 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Water for Elephants, USA, 2011

Directed by Francis Lawrence Water for Elephants is a great movie. And, probably, the best circus movie I've seen.

I remember being a child and watching Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) for the first time. Even then, I was drawn to the idea that a film about a circus can represent so many things – a sense of belonging, people constantly being on the move and on the run, faith, and illusion – but, at the same time, it was a disappointing introduction to circus films. It’s certainly not the one I would make my kids watch first. I’d probably start them off on Steve Miner’s Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991), though that’s more about a fair than a circus; but I digress. After Greatest Show ended, I didn’t feel much; I appreciated the spectacle, but not the people within it. It’s regarded as a great film by most people, but I don’t think so; not even a good film.

Good movies leave you with the sense that they were there, and they give you a pleasant feeling, no matter the content. Great movies, you can touch; that sense of remembrance is tangible, and when the movie is over, you want more. Water for Elephants is a great movie, and probably the best circus movie I’ve seen. Read More