Saturday, August 20, 2005

Nick Comes Knocking on 'Broken Flowers'

It's a bird... it's a plane... no! It's an actual full-length movie review on Nick's Flick Picks! Will wonders never cease?

Too bad the film in question is Jim Jarmusch's promising but dismayingly fallow Broken Flowers. During the Cannes Film Festival in May, where Broken Flowers won the Grand Prix (i.e., the runner-up prize for Best Picture), all the hubbub was that this film was poignant and layered, and much better than Wim Wenders' Don't Come Knocking, which also centers around a father seeking out a son he didn't know he had (and, not to be discounted, the mother of the son, too.) Based on how much I disliked Broken Flowers, I'm perversely expecting that Don't Come Knocking might be more my cup of tea. Since I can't seem to get with the critical or popular consensus at all this year—I didn't like Mysterious Skin but enjoyed 9 Songs, I much prefered The Interpreter to Walk on Water, I found Hitch utterly charmless, and I'm positive that Johnny Depp was the worst thing about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—it'll just go to show if I wind up championing all the movies that everyone else hates. Wouldn't be the first time.

Now, I just need to dig up those notes I took during The Beat That My Heart Skipped, since that's a winner everyone seems to agree on...

Meanwhile, in attending to my Cinemarati duties, I've also posted a capsule review of George Stevens' Giant, which I just screened for the first time in the gorgeous Cinestudio theater on the campus of my new stomping grounds, Trinity College. The movie theaters of Hartford—I visited four of them in my first eight days of living here—deserve a blog entry of their own, but for now, it's all about Giant, one of those mid-century Oscar darlings that you expect will be awful until you give the thing a chance and come to find that, dang it, that's one thoroughbred of a mainstream American movie. It's the kind of film you expect will go to shit once Rock Hudson and Liz Taylor have got their hair painted silver so they can act more than twice their age, but even against the formidable odds of old-age makeup, they, and the movie, hold their own.

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3 Comments:

Blogger David Shultz said...

I found Heights and Yes, both more or less critical failures, to be quite interesting, the latter of which is at least artistically bold. In short, I see what you mean. However, I did like Me and You and Everyone We Know quite a bit, while Downfall is a film I respect immensely but don't necessarily "love." How the hell do you form such concrete opinions and stick by them? I'm always so divided.

6:12 AM, August 20, 2005  
Blogger ModFab said...

Hey, if you think you've got it rough Nick, you should try be the one who hates the Miranda July flick. That's lonely territory, my friend.

I do hope someday you'll give MYSTERIOUS SKIN another try, though.

9:48 AM, August 20, 2005  
Anonymous goatdog said...

I'm waffling on Broken Flowers (the subject of my second-ever paid professional review). I liked it, sorta, but I am mystified by the critical raves. It's a blank slate, as blank as Bill Murray's now-dismayingly-signature stone face. I definitely don't think there's much there there.

5:00 PM, August 20, 2005  

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