By calling the next James Bond film Quantum of Solace, the producers are announcing their intention to stay with the dark-flirting, psychological-emotional realism that began with Casino Royale. It will be no big deal at all to write a main credits song for this — just ignore the title. Who cares if the singer literally belts out the words “quantum of solace”? Better this than something in the vein of Goldeneye or Octopussy or whatever. It’s a title that says “if you’re looking for a check-your-brain-at-the-door thriller, look elsewhere.”
I wasn’t sure about who was in the cast of Scott Frank‘s The Lookout when I first saw it early last year, so when the cute redhead showed up I was initially persuaded I was watching Amy Adams. It was actually Isla Fisher, whom I’d first noticed in ’05’s The Wedding Crashers.
Amy Adams, Isla Fisher, etc.
I’m not trying to make a big deal out of this, but they’re both redheads, they both project that bubbly-chirpy thing, they’re roughly the same age (Adams was born in ’74, Fisher in ’76), the same size (Fisher is 5′ 3″, Adams is 5′ 5″) and they definitely resemble each other. And they were both born overseas (Adams in Italy, Fisher in Muscat, Oman). That’s all, nothing more, just saying.
Fisher hasn’t lucked out with a big breakout role like Adams did with Enchanted but she’s (apparently) the female lead in Definitely, Maybe and she’s engaged to Sacha Baron Cohen. (Their daughter, Olive, was born last October.)
I got the hell out of Dodge — i.e., Park City — yesterday afternoon at 5:30 pm, slept a few hours, piddled around and then drove early this afternoon to rain-soaked Santa Barbara. Cats and dogs, cats and dogs…and I didn’t bring an umbrella. Flu gone, cough lingering…and the solution to all woes and precipitations is to hike eight or nine blocks in this scatalogical downpour from the Santa Barbara Hotel upto the Arlington theatre for the SBFF’s opening-night presentation: Adam Brooks‘ Definitely, Maybe (Universal, 2.14).
Snapped somewhere within Santa Barbara’s city limits
Maybe but Most Likely Not is my honest response as I sit in my hotel room at 6:20 pm. (The film will begin a little after 8 pm.)
I’ve been told that Definitely Maybe, a romantic whatever that costars Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Derek Luke, Elizabeth Banks and Rachel Weisz, is surprisingly okay. But how to ignore the fact that the director is Adam Brooks, the man who gave us Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason? And Wimbledon? (I never saw The Invisible Circus.)
Would you want to go outside and slosh around and get your feet wet and maybe usher in a return of the viral furies in order to see a Valentine’s Day attraction aimed at the girls who move their lips as they read…not Jane, which went out of business last summer….what glossy monthlies do smug, self-absorbed young women read these days?
The press kit synopsis states that Reynolds’ character, a 30-something Mahattan dad in the midst of a divorce named Will, is surprised when his 10 year-old daughter, Maya (Breslin), starts to question him about his life before marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love.” Fine so far, but wait…where’s mom? Why hasn’t she had similar previous conversations with Maya? Who is mom? Is she dead? The press kit won’t say.
Beginning with his arrival in New York in 1992 to work on “the” presidential campaign (the press kit doesn’t hint at political leanings), Will “recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women.”
He “hopelessly attempts a gentler version of his story for his daughter and changes the names so Maya has to guess who is the woman her dad finally married,” the press kit says. What? Maya is 10 years old, Will is in the midst of a divorce (presumably from one of the “three very different women”), and he’s kept his soon-to-be-ex-wife’s identity a secret from their own daughter? I could ask all kinds of inane questions, but one of the following is certain: Definitely, Maybe has a revoltingly coy premise/plot, or the Universal press-kit writer is making it sound that way.
Yeah, yeah: get out the galoshes and the raincoat and go see the damn thing.
Manohla Dargis‘s N.Y. Times review of Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is one of the best she’s ever written. I haven’t been this gob-smacked by Dargis since she wrote three and half years ago about Michael Mann‘s Collateral:
4 Months director Cristian Mungiu, star Anamaria Marinca.
“In 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a ferocious, unsentimental, often brilliantly directed film about a young woman who helps a friend secure an abortion, the camera doesn’t follow the action, it expresses consciousness itself. This consciousness — alert to the world and insistently alive — is embodied by a young university student who, one wintry day in the late 1980s, helps her roommate with an abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania when such procedures were illegal, not uncommon and too often fatal. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
“You may already have heard something about 4 Months, which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year, only to be shut out from Academy Award consideration a few weeks ago by the philistines who select the foreign-language nominees. The Oscars are absurd, yet they can help a microscopically budgeted foreign-language film find a supportive audience. And “4 Months” deserves to be seen by the largest audience possible, partly because it offers a welcome alternative to the coy, trivializing attitude toward abortion now in vogue in American fiction films, but largely because it marks the emergence of an important new talent in the Romanian writer and director Cristian Mungiu.
“In interviews, Mr. Mungiu has resisted some of the metaphoric readings of his film (say, as an attack on the Ceausescu regime) and resisted making overt declarations on abortion. I’ve read more than once that the film is not about abortion (or even an abortion) but, rather, totalitarianism, a take that brings to mind Susan Sontag‘s observation that ‘interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.’ This isn’t to say that 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days isn’t also about human will and the struggle for freedom in the face of state oppression, only to suggest that such readings can be limited and limiting. Mr. Mungiu never forgets the palpably real women at the center of his film, and one of its great virtues is that neither do you.”
Cody: “In my opinion? The best thing you can do is to find a person who loves you for exactly who you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what-have-you…the right person will still think that the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”
Wells: “You want it straight, Juno, or fluffy? Let’s try straight. The very best thing you can do is to find a person who loves you for exactly who you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what-have-you…the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with. And the odds of finding that person…? Heh-heh…yeah…well.”