Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My Week of Movie Watching
In the Valley of Elah - Tommy Lee Jones is a father investigating the death of his serviceman son, and Charlize Theron a detective assisting him. Both face steep odds against bureaucracy that would rather sweep the whole thing under the rug. The title refers to the site of David's battle against Goliath, and it's an apt metaphor. Although I recommend it, I wish just once we could see the US military not portrayed as a shadowy, evil entity.
Trafic - Jacques Tati's meditations on the modern world continue in this, his final film. In this one Mr. Hulot is charged with transporting an ultra-modern new car model to an auto show. The journey, of course is pockmarked with problems. This isn't on the level of Tati's twin masterpieces Mon Oncle and Playtime, but you should check it out anyway.
The Lower Depths - This is the 1936 Jean Renoir version of Maxim Gorky's novel (Kurosawa filmed one, as well). The great Jean Gabin plays a thief struggling to go straight and rescue the woman he loves from her abusive sister and brother-in-law. The real treat here is Louis Jouvet of Quai Des Orfevres fame as a disgraced count reduced to moving into the slums. Recommended.