Jan 092005

Carrying on the dvd-backlog reduction as the weather continues to amaze with its lack of quality. Two movies that turned out to have a lot more in common than I originally thought. Two movies that I really should have seen on the big screen instead.

First up, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie, worth of good 4 stars. So, I was probably the last to see this movie, and quite a hole it had been. Showing a mythical late-spring Paris, where concierges still reign supreme and small corner-stores live on as opposed to Carrefour hypermarches. Audrey Tatou fits her eponymous part perfectly, representing a weirdly believable paragon of naivety. The cinematography matches the faery tale atmosphere, the colors are vibrant and play off the contrasts well.

Well, she didn’t change my life (to quote the poster tagline), but sure provided an amusing two hours. And a reason to catch up Jeunet’s a Very Long Engagement (starring also Tatou) when it appears.

And next up, Tim Burton’s Big Fish, that with the force of full 5 stars shows that his previous planet of the apes was just a brief hiccup on his career. Anyway, this is yet another modern faery tale, and even stronger story than Amelie. The main element is the power of a good story, and it is indeed told via both fantastic and mundane elements. Actors fit their parts well – Billy Crudup’s lack of emotions fits his character well, Ewan McGregor hits a perfect southern twang, and both Jessica Lange and Albert Finney as the elder Blooms seem moulded for their roles. The images are, again, worthy of a dozen positive adjectives, Burton’s attention to detail pays off. And the soundtrack, both Danny Elfman’s composition and the hand-picked tunes (loved Allman Bros’ Ramblin’ Man on it), seems purchase-worthy as well.

Besides, how could a movie that begins with a tracking shot of a huge catfish be anything but absolutely brilliant.

Anyway, go watch these movies. They’ll do their best to make a better person out of you.

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