Monday, October 5, 2009

The Polanski Dilemma


Has there been a more politically polarizing film figure than him this year? I am not writing this to state an epic opinion or to share a belief. It's just that it is so easy accusing someone that sides with Polanski as being Pro Rape or Anti Judicial System. Fact of the matter is very simple -at least on my part it is- Should he be found viably guilty for what he's done? of course, rape should never happen & is a serious cause for consequence But of course, and I know you saw this coming- it's been 30+ years and I'm sick and tired of hearing about Polanski. Mind you, some people don't even realize that he's already spent jail time for his crime and that the reason he escaped The U.S was because of the biased treatment he was getting over there. Mind you, He settled into France where 'Les Artistes' are championed & seen as heroic, no matter how corrupt or devious they are.

I do think people are defending him solely based on who he is and -not to mention- all the excessively devastating things he's gone through in life-Having his pregnant wife murdered by Charles Manson, escaping a Nazi concentration camp during WW2 & Having his mother killed in the Holocaust (Yikes, talk about Psych 101.) I'm gonna refrain from talking about this case again & let you decide your own opinion. It's a tricky thing talking about it - especially with everyone up at arms & coming up with all sorts of clueless conclusions. Yes, that's right, clueless. Let's all settle down here and talk about movies instead of sending out threatening letters to people who voice an opinion such as fellow writers Sasha Stone or Glenn Kenny. That's what pisses me off, not the fact that Polanski is currently in jail but the fact that we cannot even voice our opinions without being scolded and personally attacked.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Bright Star" & Abbie Cornish



Since this will most likely be THE period piece of the year, I decided to take a look at `Bright Star` tonight & what I found were 2 great performances and great direction muddled by a fairly standard screenplay. Don't get me wrong- I love movies like these, in fact I'm a sucker for Jane Campion's great The Piano or James Ivory's haunting The Remains Of The Day. Both these movies had something that Bright Star lacks, a sense of urgency and uncanny originality that would set them apart from the others. Campion herself directs this movie and she does one hell of a job, setting a slow paced but effectively drawn out mood that -for the most part- had me at hello. The reason I'm writing this review is not for Campion, it's actually for relative newcomer Abbie Cornish who plays Fanny Browne -forbiddenly in love with poet John Keats- and one hell of an actress. She exudes passion and her final scene is incredibly real and stunning. I'm betting she gets an Oscar Nom come January & if she doesn't- then I'm gonna call it a major steal.

Some of you might Remember Cornish as Michelle in Stop-Loss or her small part in Ridley Scott's A Good Year. Those movies didn't showcase her talent enough and shadowed her behind other great actors- Bright Star is her chance to shine & boy does she ever. It`s the best female performance I`ve seen all year. The passion she brings to this movie is astounding. From the many different dresses she wears on screen to the beauty & romance she exudes with her counterpart -an impressive Ben Wishaw- there`s something exciting in discovering an actress blooming and lifting up a somewhat ordinary film. I don`t need to tell you Cornish does that and then some.

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