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The Library: Julianne Moore
I probably own too many DVDs.
Welcome to Movie Star March Madness, our month-long watch-a-long and countdown to Season 2 of The Vince Vaughn-a-thon. Every day in March, we’re celebrating a different actor, movie star, or famous family - one of which will be our focus for Season 2. Play along with us and leave your daily reviews in the comments. For the full schedule and info, read here.
I've finished my project of cataloging all of my DVDs/Blu-rays/4K in a Letterboxd list. I've barely seen what I own. Thus, The Library, where I go through, you guessed it, our library of movies in an attempt to try and at least get to the 50% mark.
To be included in this column, I can't watch it streaming or catch it at a repertory screening - I have to watch the disc.
Current Count: 591 of 1,645 - 35%
After having successfully eluded the authorities for years, Hannibal peacefully lives in Italy in disguise as an art scholar. Trouble strikes again when he’s discovered leaving a deserving few dead in the process. He returns to America to make contact with now disgraced Agent Clarice Starling, who is suffering the wrath of a malicious FBI rival as well as the media.
Julianne Moore does her best Jodie Foster voice (it's hilarious - why bother?) in a film that is inferior to Silence of the Lambs in just about every way, (except for Moore, who I would choose over Foster once on Sundays and twice every other day of the week*.)
I do find the Lecter/Starling relationship just as interesting, as I can't quite get into the Will Parker of it all in Hannibal or Manhunter, but maybe it's just Hopkins, (I can't promise I'll watch Red Dragon any time soon.) And there's plenty to be said about the last 20 minutes, which is unbelievably gross in a way that I think actual cannibals would find to cross a line. But it's got balls to do that. It's got balls just existing, trying to follow up such a masterpiece.
*My gratitude to the folks at Kino Lorber for this 4K restoration…
When a sudden plague of blindness devastates a city, a small group of the afflicted band together to triumphantly overcome the horrific conditions of their imposed quarantine.
Things this movie is not:
It is not the best virus movie. That's Contagion, with Outbreak as a close runner-up.
It is not the best blind virus movie. Screw you, I liked Bird Box and I don't care that you don't. (Maybe I care a little.)
It is not the better movie on this Blu-ray two-pack. I've never seen Proof, but both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB say so.
It is also not, unfortunately, really any good.
Things this movie is:
A movie with blonde Julianne Moore. So it could be a lot worse.
Vanya on 42nd Street (1994)
An uninterrupted rehearsal of Chekhov’s 1899 play “Uncle Vanya” played out by a company of actors. The setting is their run down theater with an unusable stage and crumbling ceiling. The play is shown act by act with the briefest of breaks to move props or for refreshments. The lack of costumes, real props and scenery is soon forgotten.
A few weeks ago, we saw The Seagull/Woodstock NY at NYC's The New Group, another modern-day Chekhov that was so discombobulated and so feigned, I thought I was hearing English for the first time.* Their version of words felt foreign to me. I had never heard the language I have used my entire life used in such a bizarre combination of words and phrases to be so pontifical, yet saying so little. It was the exact reason people scoff at Chekhov, particularly modern-day adaptations.
What they were trying to do, I think, was do something akin to Vanya at 42nd Street, another Louis Malle/Andre Gregory/Wallace Shawn collaboration (working with a David Mamet adaptation of Uncle Vanya) that seems equally interested in an actor's relationship to the theatre and to Vanya as it is interested in performing Vanya in a theatre. At the end of the day, it's a two-hour rehearsal for a play folks will assume is stuffy. But there is absolutely nothing stuffy about Wallace Shawn yelling at Julianne Moore, "I love you! I look at you, and I see my life - I see my youth and I see my happiness. I know that the chance that you could reciprocate those feelings...is nothing. But I want nothing. I just want you to permit me to look at you," while she shushes and laughs at him. We've all been there.
*This is partially because Parker Posey didn't. know. her. lines. (tangent: is Aubrey Plaza my generation's Parker Posey? If so, my generation wins.)
Credit: Each plot synopsis comes from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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