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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Three movies I'm glad I saw.

Posted on 2008.12.10 at 14:54

Comments:


Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-12-12 19:31 (UTC) (Link)
No, I never saw "A History of Violence". I know it was very well-reviewed, especially Viggo, but it sounded so, well, violent, I skipped it. Not that Appaloosa doesn't have violence, and Eastern Promises had plenty of it scattered throughout, but I knew when it would be so I closed my eyes. :)

Too bad you hate Kidman so much, she's definitely got a big part in Australia, in fact, I'd say she's the most important character. If you aren't won over by her at some point, I don't see how you could enjoy the movie. It's funny, your loathing, since at least one other LotR friend (my friend who writes Boromir fic) hates her too, but can't say why. She said Kidman always gives at least an acceptable performance, sometimes exceptional, but she just can't stand her. What's objectionable about her goes right by me. I can't say I thought much of her choice in husbands, but that's nothing to do with her screen work.

Speaking of her ex, yeah, I've read almost exclusively bad press for what Valkyrie turned out to be, especially for Cruise (as woefully miscast, not intrinsically awful). I'm so sorry if it is unwatchable. I just love watching Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson, not to mention the other Great British Actors in it.
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-12-13 12:28 (UTC) (Link)
I thought A History of Violence marginally less violent than Eastern Promises, actually. It's an absolutely brilliant film. Well, they both are. But, honestly, I highly recommend it. I've watched it twice now on DVD and each time it is completely and utterly gripping. Viggo really is one HECK of an actor. :)

[RANT]Poor Nicole. I don't find her beautiful, sorry to say: her eyes are too big and pale, and I prefer her lovely natural red locks to platinum blonde. I disliked her casting as Ada in Cold Mountain, I didn't buy her as Ada for one minute. It jarred me badly because I love Ada as a character and it threw a false note into what ought to be have been a stunning adaptation of a stunning book. Julianne Moore would have been my perfect Ada.

Sadly, I also thought Renée Zellweger over-acted as Ruby. I've actually met Renée. :) She's a tiny thing, very pretty, and very shy too ... seems a real sweetheart. :) I feel mean saying these things because I know how tough it is for actresses, still, the industry is still very sexist. But I can only be honest. I had very definite ideas about how Ada and Ruby should be played, and it just didn't work for me on film.

I liked the work of young Nicole, for example in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm with Sam Neill, in which she still sported her lovely natural red locks and her Aussie accent. She was very good in that. I also thought she was very good in The Others and The Golden Compass. She can do ice-queens perfectly well: for some reason I can't explain, I never buy her as a romantic lead. She's too ... mannered, too controlling. I just about find her bearable in Moulin Rouge: and she is beautiful in that, I must admit. She always looks better when she reverts to her natural red.

I think you can imagine my reaction if I'd found out she'd been cast as Galadriel or something. As it was, there were early rumours that Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman had been cast as Faramir and Eowyn, thank GOD that never came to pass. *shudder*
[/END OF RANT]

Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-12-13 14:34 (UTC) (Link)


Perhaps one of the reasons Nicole Kidman hasn't struck any bad notes for me is that I didn't see "Cold Mountain". A lot of your negative criticism seems to focus on disappointment with her in that film. I remember reading a lot of complaints from the f-list about the casting in that--Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, both, as miscast, and as non-Americans, plus complaints about Renee chewing up the scenery--although it was nominated for plenty so somebody liked it. Since I never read Cold Mountain, if I do see the film one day, it sounds like it will help. ;)

As for her hair, I think she'd look good in any colour. I think she always looks between 'good' and 'smashing' when putting on the dog at the Oscars, like a Grace Kelly that got stretched a foot taller. But I think it depends on how she's groomed, made-up and what she's wearing, how she presents. Her looks are surprisingly changeable; she can look so different from role to role. Oh, and I *never* find an actor's eyes too big. ;)

I am surprised that she wasn't considered for Galadriel, when I come to think of it. Since I loved Cate in the role (I don't blame her for the nuclear), I am glad she wasn't cast, if she was in fact considered. I saw "The Others", one of the few films of hers I've seen. I thought she was excellent in it. It was a fascinating, completely engrossing performance.

Finally, Pearl, you have definitely sold me on "History of Violence". It sounds like a must-see. :)
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-12-13 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
Cold Mountain is one of my favourite books. My mother said it gave her nightmares! But I just loved it. The quality of the writing is exquisite. It IS extremely bleak and traumatic in places, dealing as it does with the desolation of war, but it is a truly great love story, a transcendant tale.

The film adaptation wasn't bad, but it could have been so much more, somehow. I liked Jude Law as Inman, actually: at first I had misgivings that he would be too pretty, but he acquitted himself well. Nicole and Renee were miscast, IMO.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-12-14 01:39 (UTC) (Link)
You make "Cold Mountain" sound wonderful. "A truly great love story", "a transcendant tale". Wow. How could it be these things if not set against a really dark background?
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-12-14 13:01 (UTC) (Link)

Cold Mountain

It's in my top ten. :) In fact, I would probably say it's my second favourite book after LotR, it's such a powerful story and affected my imagination and heart on such a profound level.

Inman deserts the Confederate Army as he is so sick of battle and starts on the long, painful road home to the North Carolina mountains ... back to Ada, a woman to whom he wasn't even engaged when war broke out. The novel alternates chapter-by-chapter between his story and hers.

Cold Mountain is one of those books that enlarge my vision of the world. It gives a bleak and desolate picture of a country torn apart by war, it often portrays men and women behaving in bestial ways ... but that isn't the whole picture. Inman and Ada, who hardly know each other and yet have grown to love each other deeply, seek to rise above the forces of death and brutality all around them. There is redemption and hope, and not just in the deep love of Ada and Inman, but also in the sharp, practical, earthy, deeply kind person of Ruby.

Cold Mountain has been compared to The Odyssey, because of its mythic power, and it fully deserves the comparison.

It's a FANTASTIC book! :)

The film was good, but not great. The book is truly great.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-12-14 14:13 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cold Mountain

It sounds like a film version would never live up to it. Yet it could still have been a great film, thinking of LotR. The films didn't live up to Tolkien's book, either, but the attempt produced great films.
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-12-14 17:07 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cold Mountain

It sounds like a film version would never live up to it. Yet it could still have been a great film, thinking of LotR. The films didn't live up to Tolkien's book, either, but the attempt produced great films.

Exactly. :)

No film version could ever match the version of LotR in my head, or the visions that book produces in my mind. I know that, surely every Tolkien fan knows that. Yet we still hoped for, and expected, greatness from PJ's films, and that is what he delivered, even despite some of the liberties he took. There are many things I forgive him for.

I do think the film adaptation of Cold Mountain could have matched the book, actually. As it was, it missed the book's transcendant quality. Nicole and Jude somehow failed to elevate the great romance at the heart of the book to the greatness it deserved on screen. I'm not saying it would have been easy: in the book, the two lovers do not meet until the final part! But the reader gets to know both of them, intimately, as the story progresses, and you are totally rooting for their love to succeed, against devastating odds.

By the way, I have adjusted my viewing screen to fix the problem I had with viewing your journal: the font now appears a perfectly normal size and I am no longer squinting. Why I didn't think to do this before, I don't know.


Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-12-14 18:30 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cold Mountain

What did you do to your viewing screen, then? I remember you saying it only behaved this way viewing this journal, which was why I didn't suggest going to "View" on the menu bar, then adjusting the text size.

You are really making me want to read this book, but I don't have time. I checked out but never read the last books you got me excited over: same thing. Not enough time. And I haven't even had a job outside the house this fall. I do take a lot of time preparing posts, it's true. If I would just pull back on those, I'd have a lot more writing and reading time. Of course, those do involve writing and reading, so it's not as though it's time wasted. :) But you know what I mean: reading stuff I've never read before, rather than things I've read many times. I've been reading non-fiction when I'm not preparing posts, mostly. I did read the McMaster Vorkossigan series in the summer, per Estelanui's recommendations. It was fun, but one read was enough.

ETA: I should add that I did manage to read some mysteries by favourite mystery authors whose work I hadn't kept up on, because of being involved in LJ and LotR stuff the past few years. When I was convalescing this fall, I read the most recent volumes of Martha Grimes and P. D. James. But the books of both were very disappointing. Not so much the penultimate P. D. James and Grimes, but their last ones. It made me sad. It was as if they really had nothing else to say through their featured protagonists, they were just turning out books to meet their contract stipulations.

Edited at 2008-12-14 06:36 pm (UTC)
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-12-14 19:24 (UTC) (Link)

Fixing the font

I used 'Zoom' under 'View' on the Menu bar. Rather to my surprise, the zooming stayed put, rather than be temporary! I don't pretend to understand it, but it's working. :)

As for having time to read ... well, I commute every day, so I have time to read. I'm lucky. :)

Although I don't post half so much as I used to, if I posted less, I would write more.

I would have written a lot more LotR fanfiction back in the day had it not been for my intense involvement in the messageboards. The discussions were too fascinating, the people were too much fun ... so I blame you lot. :p

Kidding. :)

But writing takes serious time and energy. It's not surprising I don't get more done.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-12-14 19:57 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Fixing the font

The discussions were too fascinating, the people were too much fun ... so I blame you lot. :p

But you're right, though. Still, I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-12-14 23:29 (UTC) (Link)
No, neither would I!
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