Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another thing I've been doing a lot of is watching movies.

One nice thing is that the movie theatres are short bus rides or close enough to walk. On Saturday I caught The Constant Gardener, the newest film from City of God director, Fernando Meirelles. Here's another artist who's follow up to his promising debut delivers. Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz both give outstanding peformances as a diplomat and his new wife who become embroiled in a conspiracy in Africa. That's a really shallow description of a film that is much deeper and fascinating, both on a political and personal level. This is a film, much like City of God, that demands we take notice of the suffering of others. But at the same time the film is never polemic or preachy. The characters are realistic and complex. The screenplay aks us to consider the mystery of the characters relationships as much as the conspiracy and politics. It's a rare film that is both artistic and entertaining; political and personal. Definitely one of the best of the year.

I think the people at the local Roger's Video are also going to get to know me pretty well. I rented movies two nights in a row this week. On Sunday I rented the British gangster flick Layer Cake and it was really good. It's directed by Matthew Vaughn who worked as producer on both and Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Daniel Craig is excellent as the unnamed protagonist who is a "businessman", not a "gangster". It just so happens his business is drugs. Of course in a film like this everything goes wrong and there are double crosses and surprises galore. And it costars excellent actors like Michael Gambon, Colm Meaney and the radient Sienna Miller. The next night I then rented another film starring Ms. Miller. That being the Jude Law remake of Alfie. I actually had kind of wanted to see it for a while, and since no one else was telling me what they wanted to rent I was free to do so. And it wasn't half bad. I'd definitely give it a thumbs up. There are some good performance here from Law (as Sean Penn reminded us, he's actually a good actor in case you don't know), Marisa Tomei, Miller and Nia Long (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). What the film did make me want to see is the Michael Caine original.

I'm sure I'll be seeing more movies this fall. I gotta keep up with the boys back home.

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