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Friday Film News

By Rob Last edited 147 months ago
Friday Film News
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This week it seems two films are competing for the top spot. One, a quintessentially English film about tricky, emotional themes. And the other, a left-field US picture with philosophical leanings and a 'cavalcade' of stars.

(By the way, is that word cavalcade ever used when not referring to 'stars'? Who cares, we like it.)

So let's do Enduring Love first. There's no doubt it's a half decent book, but we all know what happens when half decent books hit the silver screen. So is this the one to buck the trend?

Short answer: no.

Wendy Ide, writing in The Times likes the opening scene, as does everyone else.

But it would be hard to ruin that opening scene really. You'd have to be Paul Verhoeven to ruin that opening scene, let's face it. It's what happens after that first few minutes that counts. And it seems that Roger Michell's adaptation doesn't quite pull it off.

Ide's main problems are that the nutter of the piece is too much of a nutter, and therfore robs the picture of any tension, and that "[Samantha] Morton’s role seems chronically underwritten".

To be honest, if you're going to cast Samantha Morton in your film, at least give her a decent part, otherwise you're not doing anyone any favours.

Anthony Quinn in the Independent complains that the film stalls after the opening scene (really Anthony?) and that Rhys Ifans (who plays the nutter) "could be auditioning for the role of Wurzel Gummidge's weird cousin". He gives it two stars, and what's horrible is you know he wanted it to be so much better.

The same could be said for Bradshaw in the Guardian who likes Daniel Craig in the lead role but not much else, complaining that there are no "very profound insights into the nature of love, and it's difficult to believe in any of it for a minute".

So can I ♥ Huckabees do any better?

(See what we did there with the heart symbol? You can tell that's been pissing off online newspaper editors all over the country this week.)

Pete Bradshaw is the first to use the word 'wacky' in his review. And he's the first to metion Charlie Kaufmann as well.

He also says that the film is "laid out with what I can only describe as a blogger's obsessive-compulsive stamina."

Firts mention of blogging in a broadsheet film review. Well done Pete, we take that as a compliment...we think.

He gives it three stars for being "often really funny" (which is high praise indeed for Bradshaw) and he also calls it a "stylised and unexpectedly warm portrait - witty, fractured, conceited and hyperactive - of how it feels to be an alienated twentysomething, yearning to find a place in the world." which makes us want to give it a miss and wait for Garden State.

Tony Quinn's one star review in the Independent only reinforces that idea.

"Almost beyond a stinker," says Quinn, "a philosophical mishmash that needs rewriting, not to mention some laughs. Its whimsy might win it a cult following, but it couldn't qualify as fun."

So quickly on to the Times, where we discover (horror upon horror) that Bradshaw is the most generous reviewer out of the three.

Wendy Ide absolutely loathes this film: "Clearly aspiring to a Charlie Kaufman-like cerebral quirkiness, Russell chucks around a few quasi-philosophical terms, but can’t seem to tie them together into a coherent story she spits before really putting the boot in: "the screenplay is so nonsensical that it’s like being subjected to the spittle-flecked rant of the local pub loony. Less a movie, more a cry for medication."

We should have known really. It does have Jude Law in it after all.

So a week to stay in and watch telly then. But don't worry too much because there's some stuff on the horizon worth waiting for.

Spielberg's War of the Worlds for example, which is going for a record 75-day shoot apparently. But Tom Cruise is starring. Londonist predicts Tom will run and grin a lot.

Far more interesting is the rumour that Wes Anderson's new film is to be a stop-motion animated feature of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox, surely the reason modern cinema was invented.

And talking of Wes Anderson you can see some "exclusive clips" of The Life Aquatic... here at the Apple trailer site.

And finally, if you fancy a sing along in the tradional Cockney style then you should get tickets for the Curzon cinema a week on Sunday, when Matt Lucas will be presenting his favourite film, which just happens to be Oliver!

The audience will of course be "invited to participate and will be given song sheets."

Last Updated 26 November 2004

Annie Mole

What a shame about Enduring Love, the book was fantastic and I'm going to see the film tomorrow, although I must admit to being surprised about casting Samantha Morton as the lead woman. She's not a particularly prominent character in the book, so no wonder there's not much for her to play.