A very German tale of "Don't talk to strangers"
Reviewed by Juliska for The Reader at 2011-06-03 14:59:59
One reviewer criticized this film for being "too intellectual" and "too cold" when it needs to be the opposite. What that reviewer overlooks (or is naive about) is that this story is set among *Germans* in German culture. It was originally a novel written in German by a German. Unlike American culture, German culture *is* more intellectual, detached and unemotional...at least on the surface. This film captures that culture magnificently, esp. in casting then-unknown David Kross, a German, as the film's teenaged protagonist. He has more lines in the film than Fiennes & Winslet, but he's a newbie still paying his dues, so he got little credit for his wonderful portrayal of a sensitive young man who falls in love with someone whom he too late discovers is an emotional and moral neanderthal who cannot love him. She repeatedly breaks his heart, and he suffers a lifetime of pain because of it. She simply uses him for her own purposes, providing only sex in return. Today that's rightly called psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of a minor. The same previous reviewer writes: ?Oddly, issues of age rarely come into the story, where I feel like if the genders were reversed and a 15-year-old girl developed a sexual relationship with a man twice her age, audiences would talk about nothing else. Discuss the gender discrepancy amongst yourselves.? This film accurately shows the long-term damage and ambivalent and conflicted feelings of a teenager whom an adult has abused. A large part of what?s so difficult for a sexual abuse victim to recover from is that they often feel both tenderness and anger, love and hatred toward the abuser. And showing how such abuse can be just as damaging to a boy as a girl makes this film iconoclastic.
I love this movie! The book went into a lot of description along the way - but seemed to drag for me. The movie summed up the struggle that each character faces, while making you ache for them to be together. This is my favorite role for Renee Zellweger.
Meryl Streep is just a joy as Julia Child, in one of her most graceful performances. Amy Adams is solid as Julie Powell, who decides to write a blog about cooking every recipe in Child's cookbook. Eat something before you enter the theater, or you'll be hungrier afterwards. The dishes shown might make even the VideoHound drool.
Nothing like taking one of America's gems and turning her into a cartoon character. I know we laughed when Dan Akroyd poked fun of Julia on SNL - but this woman was more than that.
The story idea of paralleling two women seemed brilliant but then the dialogue and the directing just succumbed to banality.
And then there was Meryl Streep -- professional movie reviewers loved her performance. I didn't. I was so offended by her portrayal plus the lack of meat in the story.
This is no way to remember Julia Child -- this movie is an injustice to a brilliant mind and a wonderful woman. Nora Efron should be ashamed that she is profiting off of this woman's life.
Brilliantly acted and deeply moving
Reviewed by x495 for Doubt at 2009-08-15 15:52:02
Doubt is this year's most well-acted drama. The plot revolves around a small Catholic school in the city where a seemingly friendly priest named Father Flynn is accused of molesting a young African-American boy. Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) is on his case immediately while Sister James, (Amy Adams) another nun sides with the priest. The verdict is decided by the audience. All three actors deliver what they're best at: top notch acting. Also with an engaging, fascinating plot Doubt deserved its Oscar nominees one hundred percent
It struck me how little the main character (played by Matt
Damon) actually does in this movie. He never makes any active
choices - when he is directing things for the CIA, he announces,
and others carry out his decisions. He is pretty blank as a
character. He does make a couple of choices with regard to his
son, though. But he also doesn't choose to deter his son beyond his vague suggestions about life in the CIA. Most other
decisions are made for him and he follows orders when he is not
giving orders. He does make the choice to turn around in the
hallway and go back to the Skull and Bones innitiation. He
chooses that life. He does what is expected of him. He has sex when he is dragged into it, he gets married when the girl getspregnant, he goes overseas when asked.
Reviewed by Joaq-the-line for Mamma Mia! at 2008-08-25 23:29:53
As the public continues to argue over whether this film was miscast I will go and see it for a second time in the theater.This was one of very few movies in my lifetime that had me smiling from opening credits to closing credits.Toe tapping and very enjoyable.Julie Walters and Christine Baranski were the perfect addition to this cast and their performances alone make this movie worth seeing.
Buy the soundtrack, skip the movie.
Reviewed by SmartChic for Mamma Mia! at 2008-08-07 14:01:15
My friend begged me to go. Yes, I knew I was going to see a musical. But really - can they please get through ONE conversation without bursting into song? Just one? The film seemed horribly miscast to me - the movie makers obviously wanted to say, "Hey Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan are in our movie." Too bad they seemed awkward and uncomfortable - let's face it - Meryl Streep is no Dancing Queen.
Not for the faint of heart
Reviewed by KLN for Closer at 2008-04-02 17:40:09
This is an intense, very grown-up look at love, infidelity, manipulation, and dysfunctional relationships. No character in this movie is entirely sympathetic but I still found myself drawn into their plights. Clive Owen is amazing and frighteningly intense. And Natalie Portman broke my heart in one scene. Don't go into this movie looking for a happy ending.