Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

24 September 2007

Two Movies for the Weekend

I know I'm really busy with school and all that sort of thing, but Fall movie season is upon us, and this weekend I had a minor panic attack that I wasn't getting to see any of the movies that are coming out. I have this fear that we'll get to December and I won't have seen anything because I've been sequestered at Florida State.

Long story short, I decided to go to two movies this weekend. Molière and Shoot 'Em Up were my third and fourth choices for the weekend, but they didn't happen. Instead I saw 2 Days in Paris. Julie Delpy directed this movie, and it works, sort of. It's a comedy about a French woman who takes her American boyfriend to Paris for a quick stop-over to meet her parents (and four or five of her ex-boyfriends). The boyfriend is Adam Goldberg, who I love (although I am used to seeing Delpy paired with Ethan Hawke) and Delpy's father and mother play the father and mother. It's kind of like a deeply personal film that doesn't really get under the skin at all. It's a very silly comedy that is sometimes very funny and sometimes more irritating than anything else. I liked it, but just barely. It's not a terrible movie, it just isn't really about anything. And to top it all off, Goldberg's character is a hypochondriac, constantly whining about a headache or his sinuses or an infection of some sort. Paranoia is not my favorite thing in the world as it is, but whining is just not good drama.

The other film I saw was the new Cronenberg, Eastern Promises. Story: I have a very specific memory of seeing A History of Violence. My friend Justin and I went randomly to the movie, and at one point in the film, Viggo Mortensen smashes some guy in the face with a coffee pot. Cut to the guys mangled, bloody face leaking gore onto the floor of the diner. It was a total gross-out moment, after which Justin said "Thanks, David Cronenberg." There were about ten of those moments in Eastern Promises. Cronenberg just does not shy away from showing the horrific things that people do to one another. It's audacious and exciting. The movie is a superb thriller, occasionally a little slow (this is Armin Mueller-Stahl's fault), but excellent. Naomi Watts is very good. Vincent Cassel (I freaking love that guy) gives a great supporting performance that manages to be both pathetic and moving. And Viggo Mortensen is absolutely wonderful. He gives an enigmatic, scary performance that is impossible to predict. He always keeps you guessing and you never have any idea what's going on in his head. It's really excellent.