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August 04, 2002

Sunday Movie

Jean and I have begun to set aside a regular time for watching movies together. Last week we watched Chocolat (hey look, they mis-spelled Chocolate! Tee hee!). This week it was A Beautiful Mind. And of course the genesis of this budding tradition (or revived tradition, thinking back to our pre-child life) was the recent viewing of A Taxing Woman.

I don't want to write full-blown reviews of each of these, so I'll just give capsule impressions. Of course I'd seen A Taxing Woman before, about a year after it's release. I liked it quite a lot then, and it led to my tracking down three other movies by Juzo Itami, The Funeral, Tampopo and A Taxing Woman Returns. I was saddened to learn that he died in 1997.

Chocolat is Magical Realism Lite. It was charming, feel-good, and funny, but felt like somebody had watched about fifty European movies and wanted to do one of their own, after reading the complete works of Jorge Luis Borges. I don't mean to come across too harshly, the movie is definitely worth watching. It just has a bit of a flavor of 'watch me, watch me!' to it.

Watching A Beautiful Mind I felt that Russell Crowe gave a fine performance as a mentally ill geek. Watching the film's handling of schizophrenia made me feel more certain that Philip K. Dick, a favorite author of mine from way back, probably suffered from something like this. His stories are all concerned with both what makes reality real and what makes us human. This movie is touching and human in a classic manner. Definitely worth seeing.

So that's the list of most recent movies worth mentioning. I recently saw Austin Powers in Goldmember, and can summarize it with: better than two, not as good as one. Most other movies I've seen recently were not worth mentioning here. That's it, gotta put the kids to bed!

Posted by dpwakefield at August 4, 2002 08:30 PM