SOME SHORT TAKES

SHORT TAKES on the RECENTLY VIEWED

One-Eyed Jacks Posteranne-hathaway-hair-2136-hd-wallpapersthOne-Eyed Jacks     Marlon Brando     1961

OF BRANDO, BY BRANDO AND FOR BRANDO

Was this the beginning of the indulgent Brando?  The self-indulgence and self-serious- ness that would damage films and perhaps even affect careers?  Not least, his own.  In a small handful of scenes here he is his old electric self from his first few years.  But through most of the running time his direction consists of close-ups by a camera apparently instructed to love Brando  —  and a rather stone-faced Brando most of the time.  I am mystified by reviewers who find profound characterization in One-Eyed Jacks, though Katy Jurado is excellent and Karl Malden is outstanding.  It would be interesting to know how much in their performances is the result of Brando’s direction.  There is really no reason to doubt that.  Has anyone done any research on it ?

The raves that the photography of One-Eyed Jacks receives never mentions all the process shots  —  a few are excellent, many are ordinary and some are appalling.

One Day     Lone Scherfig     2011

HARRY AND SALLY IN A DIFFERENT KEY

An offbeat romance that, in today’s jargon, is more dramedy (dramady) than comedy.  Perhaps it is fairer to say that it is a romantic comedy that becomes more serious as the drinking problem at the core of the story worsens.  The drinking friend Dexter, played by Jim Sturgess, is unfortunately never likable enough to win sufficient support from us or to explain Emma’s lasting affection and love for him.  In the latter role, though, Anne Hathaway is superb.  Patricia Clarkson is fine as Dexter’s mother.

From the book by David Nicholls.

Amazing and Lovely     Nicole Holofcener (writer/director)     2001

EARLY GYLLENHAAL

An off-offbeat comedy that is heart-tugging and gut-wrenching while not always being sure of its tone despite the presence of Catherine Keener and Emily Mortimer and Brenda Blethyn.  Blethyn plays a very unconventional mother of two even more unconventional daughters, Keener and Mortimer.  Jake Gyllenhaal is perfectly callow as the Keener character’s seventeen-year-old high school stud.

NEXT FRIDAY POST May 27

Until then,
See you AT the movies,
Rick

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