Sunday, December 11, 2005

Film in 2005: Part III of possibly more...

When I close my eyes can I still see scenes from The Motorcycle Diaries (2004). The year 1952, two young men on an old Norton sputtering into a misty-green South American horizon accompanied by Gustavo Santaolalla's breathtaking soundtrack. It's an example of some incredible filmmaking.

Metacritic, a great review site, has a collection of reviews here. NYT's A.O. Scott says it well: "Mr. Bernal's soulful, magnetic performance notwithstanding, the real star of the film is South America itself, revealed in the cinematographer Eric Gautier's misty green images as a land of jarring and enigmatic beauty."

Many of the reviews of Garden State (2004) seem to have a certain air of spite or schadenfreude to them, gleefully kicking sand in the face of an insolent upstart. As far as it all goes, I think Zach Braff should be commended. Existential: Yes. The Graduate reborn: No. That said, it was much better film than a lot of truly mediocre films I've seen reviewed too favorably. Natalie Portman did a great job. (And the soundtrack was the best pop soundtrack in recent years).

(to be continued... hopefully)


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