Magic in the Moonlight The titles are done in a nice restrained font. Things go downhill from there. Woody just can’t help himself. The big message in this for all you middle-aged men out there is do what Woody did. Get a chick less than half your age. Got to be cute but uneducated, ignorant. Could be a liar, cheater, fraudster all okay. But whatever you do don’t get yourself an intelligent rational woman of your own age. As Woody’s step-daughter, aka wife, gets older – too old for him now? – his movie fantasies get younger.
This aside, which is only distasteful for females in the audience who fancy they are intelligent and rational, the plot is severely wanting.
SerenaI gather the critics hate this one, a trifle unfairly if you ask me. The film suffers from the usual trouble that if it is possible to out-Shakespeare Shakespeare, nobody has yet found the secret. Anybody who has gone through life untroubled by existence of Shakespeare (oooooh, say Hunger Games readers) would, I imagine, find this riveting. But for people who have even the most passing acquaintance with Macbeth, this movie’s twists and turns will be known to you well before they take place on the screen.
Bottom Line: The movie was as good as it could be.
Awful because it shouldn’t be. Like at least some of his other movies it desperately needs an editor. Maybe Nolan is above the use of such a hard man, but he shouldn’t be. He doesn’t know how to stop and he needs to employ somebody who does. In this case, however, unlike The Dark Knight and Inception, it isn’t just too long, but also has an explanation of love that had us cringing. It’s such a pity. It had a good cast – interesting to see that Michael Caine can act just as well dead as alive – visually gripping, and a reasonable sci-fi story to a point. But this went well beyond that point. I had an idea that the audience the night we went thought they’d been to like this amazing TED talk? It had all this amazing sciencey stuff in it? Truly ruly it did not. It had the usual sci-fi loop thing where the people in the future have organised the people of the present to save themselves, when the fact of people in the future negates the idea that this could have happened or needed to. Meanwhile it was like OMG, Earth’s this amazing doomsday scenario and like love saves us? It’s SO amazing. Sigh.
Bottom Line: The movie should have been much better than it was.
An Eye for Beauty
The latest Denys Arcand movie and better than Serena and Interstellar. You can read a lot of bad reviews of this online, but I don’t think any of the reviewers have a clue what the movie is about. It isn’t about relationships. It’s about a guy who is an architect, and whose eye for beauty is his entire life. This is not to say it is an ode to beauty, far from it. The entire movie is exquisitely beautiful visually, while drumming home the point of the sheer emptiness of the lives of those who are surround by, and live for, it. Nothing else is interesting to the architect. Not his wife, not the girl he shags a couple of times, not even his wealthy leisured life. Being surrounded by beauty is insufficient. He has to make it too. It’s unfortunate that the girl he sees on the side is seen as his shag, when in fact their relationship is entirely orchestrated by the girl. He is there because it isn’t important to him, not because it is. He might be there just and only there for the beauty. The girl is a really strange person, treading some fine line between honesty and stalking – either way she is creepy. It is mystifying to me that she is denied character by the reviewers. They presume that her presence is ‘the other woman romance’ but it is nothing like this. It isn’t a romance. It isn’t meant to be a romance, it isn’t like the director tried for a romance and failed. It is a relationship that meant everything to the woman and, for all the male’s botheration about it, nothing to him. Meanwhile his wife thinks that she can’t live without him but in fact does jolly well once she decides to move on – just to be clear, this isn’t anything to do with the occasional shag with the other girl. I can’t say that I could totally explain this movie, but as a friend said to me the other day, Arcand likes ambiguity. It’s okay, though.
Bottom Line: Ignore the reviews and take a chance.