Archives for posts with tag: olga kurylenko

This movie is basically Love Actually but sadder and more French. I had an actual post but managed to hit the backspace in the wrong field and so that’s all you get for now. Maybe I’ll update later.

Edited: Right, okay, I’m now less annoyed, and fortunately I remembered not to close the TextEdit window with my notes in it.

The framework of this movie: each of twenty directors gets five minutes and Paris. You get roughly what you’d expect out of these; in the Coen Brothers’ contribution, Steve Buscemi gets beat up in a métro station. There’s only the most half-hearted attempt to relate the stories to one another, and I think maybe I wish they’d not bothered. Anyway, I’ve seen more irritating love letters to Paris, and at least this one puts it out there with its title.

Since the movie is a bit fragmented, I’ll move straight to the stray observations. I won’t treat each vignette, because some of them are just too predictable and unmemorable (Gus Van Sant, I’m looking at you).

  • Unlike Love Actually, this film has people who are actually poor or desperately unlucky, not just amusingly bohemian Kris Marshall. Unsurprisingly, this is sad. In fact, one of my notes just says: “sad immigrant from Lagos oh my god so sad.”
  • A horrible French child with a pea-shooter annoys Steve Buscemi as well. The horrible French child is the best part of that sketch.
  • Juliet Binoche sure has a face for tragedy.
  • Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer visit Oscar Wilde’s grave in Père Lachaise. She accuses him of being humorless, although this is not true (his offering for that brilliant man’s last words–“Bury me under something ugly”–made me laugh out loud), because what she wants from a man is that he is so hilarious that he quotes Wilde all the time. I submit, honey, that you might be doing it wrong, romance-wise.
  • I hate mimes. And I know everyone hates mimes, but there’s a reason for that.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character is appearing in a period drama. I’d laugh, but I saw Hysteria, so it just isn’t funny.
  • When you hear English in a French film, it sounds slow and stilted. Native English speakers sound as though they have some sort of aphasia. It’s not quite as painful as a sudden American in a British movie.
  • I did not expect Olga Kurylenko to be my first doubled actor.

Director: Everybody ever; or: Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin & Gérard Depardieu, Emmanuel Benbihy, Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Joel & Ethan Coen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydès, Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas, Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro Suwa, Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant
Length: 120 min.
Rating: R, for not a lot of reason except maybe the swearing in the Coen Brothers bit
Score: 2/5? I found exactly one vignette touching (“Place des Fêtes”), a few pretty, and the Gurinder Chadha one (“Quais de Seine”) cute if fairy-tale. I’m not mad at it.

Well, this is now my favorite movie that uses the Empire State Building’s observation deck in pivotal scenes, because instead of stupid Meg Ryan crap, it has this:

And how can man die better
than facing fearful odds
for the ashes of his fathers
and the temples of his gods?

Which is clearly better.

So this is where I stop apologizing for Tom Cruise. I never wanted to in the first place, but people judge you for liking him. And, yeah, the movie had annoying Tom Cruise things: the Yankees ballcap, the flannel shirts, the motorbike, the baseball generally, the making Olga Kurylenko pretend to be four inches shorter than she is, the jutting jaw as moral certainty arrives. But whatever. The man makes good movies and he looks good doing it.

Sure, Oblivion had some downsides. The science was slightly dubious, but they just got it out of the way in the opening monologue so you could accept it and move on. Tom Cruise flies what is essentially a modified B-Wing, and it therefore kind of sucks. He also fixes a nuclear-powered machine with literal chewing gum. And apparently in a post-apocalyptic wasteland the desperate refugees have time to kit themselves out in cool steampunk cloaks. Whatever.

But. This movie–an alien invasion, post-nuclear-holocaust type movie–should have been entirely predictable, and it was not. I lost track of what was going on at least twice. I’ve seen a million of these movies and sort of figured I didn’t really need to pay attention. But I did, and not just to the plot. This movie looks stunning. The nukes and the war have made seas rise and earth move, and the canyons of the New York City avenues are now truly canyons. It is a very different kind of love letter to New York than was Inside Llewyn Davis, but in its own way I think it perhaps does better. The ruined reading room of the main branch of the Public Library serves as the backdrop for a battle. It is still beautiful. Outside Manhattan, a devastated Pentagon is covered in moss, and the Brooklyn Bridge is buried to halfway up the iconic arches. Plus, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

I’m not sure I can say much more without giving away important points, so I’ll move on to the stray observations.

  • Morgan Freeman is drastically less wasted than usual, and I think this is a much less annoying movie than Lucy will be, so hooray!
  • Does anyone else dislike Andrea Riseborough automatically, or is that just because I saw her first on “Party Animals,” and she was just so deeply hateful?
  • Yes, of course there is a mostly-buried Statue of Liberty. This movie isn’t crazy.

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Rating: PG-13, for pretty standard sci-fi shoot-’em-ups
Length: a sliiiightly too long 124 minutes
Score: 4/5. Not even sorry. And I might have given Edge of Tomorrow 5/5 if I’d had this blog at the time, so come at me, bro.