Friday, December 08, 2006

The DVD Wears Prada, and Other Second Dates

The promoters behind the DVD of The Devil Wears Prada have asked me to lend them a little bit of extra publicity, and who am I not to oblige? By all means, rent it. I myself am eager for a second look at Prada, particularly to revisit its best performance—which belongs not to Meryl Streep but to Emily Blunt, as the exasperated assistant who torments Anne Hathaway before they forge a sort of terrorized entente. It's no mystery why Streep feels able and entitled to push Hathaway around and make her work to claim her own starring vehicle, but there's a moment when Blunt asks Hathaway whether she's on her way to some sort of "hideous skirt convention" and I realized that Blunt, without quite hustling her way into the spotlight, was nonetheless staken her own unbashful claim on the movie and getting the maximum zing out of all of her lines fly.

My memory of Prada is that too much of it doesn't zing, or not as often as it should. Simon Baker is especially (and typically) ruinous as a caddish journalist in one of many subplots that the movie doesn't know how to handle, but I'm not even sure the central storyline between Hathaway and Streep really jelled. All the same, I remember having a perfectly zesty time while I was sitting there, and I'm frankly eager just to see the clothes again, so that's why Prada rates on the list of second dates I've lined up for myself in the final, list-preparing weeks of 2006, along with springtime favorites like Clean, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, and Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. Already, a recent rencontre with The Notorious Bettie Page, a movie I admired rather less than those other three, proved to be an eye-opener: it turns out the film measures up to its sensational lead performance much better than I understood at the time, and it revealed new layers and ironies beneath that patented, chilly, slightly stolid Mary Harron exterior (see also: American Psycho).

Now, to you, the birdie: besides the upcoming holiday releases and compensatory rentals of films you missed in the theater, what are some titles from 2006 that you're curious to test-drive for a second time?

(Image © 2006 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already posted over at The Film Experience that a second viewing of The Departed improved the film immensely (well, not that immensely, I guess... it went from an A- to an A in my eyes). So that was exciting.

11:22 AM, January 03, 2007  

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