And I loved Friends with Money. A reviewer in Los Angeles when it came out called Nicole Holofcener the Jane Austen of Los Angeles and I totally understand why. It's a lovely, thoughtful and funny film about Angelenos and their foibles, loves, insecurities, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was sad and romantic and very funny with some running gags that are priceless. There is also a final touching moment at the end that I won't spoil, but was, for me, the icing on the cake of the film. It's a movie about friendships, marriages, loneliness and wealth. Loved it.
And today I finally saw Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower, Zhang finally has reunited with his muse from the 1990's, Gong Li (they made Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, Ju Dou, and Shanghai Triad together) and the film is quite good. As you may know, I am not a fan of Zhang's recent work. I haven't yet seen Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, but I was mostly bored with both the ridiulously over-praised Hero and the Takeshi Kaneshiro-starring House of Flying Daggers. Golden Flower is not a martial arts movie. Instead, it is a royal melodrama of the Lion in Winter variety. Sons and heirs and incestuous relationships and betrayal. This is a film with tricks and surprises up its sleeve. It's also breathtakingly gorgeous to look at. But (and here's the surprise) it's also a film that actually cares about the thousands of people it slaughters, and takes time to deconstruct the pageantry and beauty of all of those monochromatic court ceremonies. It's high tragedy and high diva stuff. Gong Li is totally fucking fabulous and soars in her role and Jay Chou is fantastic as her loyal son. It's a surprisingly excellent film.
Let's also just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Gong Li is: