For someone who doesn’t much like films, I’ve been very active in the last week with 2 viewing experiences that were both uncomfortable and affecting.
First, I finally got around to seeing The Road. Very glad I watched it myself. This book was one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read. In the quiet despair, and in McCarthy’s ability to really show and not tell. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the movie, but it was pretty damn close in tone and visual vocabulary to what was in my head. The dialogue was perfect and delivered without a lot of emotion – I was particularly affected by the wife’s summation of her fears and decision: they will find us and they will rape me and then they will kill us (delivered without inflection and hysteronics). Theron is a supporting actor, but when she’s there she’s good.
There are moments in this film where I literally couldn’t bear to watch – not because of shocking violence really, nor over-the-top blood and gore, but in the emotions that a scene evoked. For most of the movie, I really felt that humans are assholes. All of us. And then there’s that moment at the end where it’s not a fairytale ending, but a smallest glimmer of hope, and we move from tragedy to comedy. And I can breath again.
Then on Friday night, the street gang went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and I walked home, in April, in a t-shirt!). Definitely recommend seeing this one before Hollywood gets hold of it. You know what’s great about “foreign films”? Actors that look like real people. Performances that aren’t overacted. Lighting that is sometimes dark. Dirt.
The screenwriters made some very good editing choices, with the result that this move is somehow less melodramatic than the book. And since so much hangs on Lisbeth, it was a relief to watch Noomi Rapace deliver her to us. She’s the right combination of vulnerable young girl and sociopath.
Of course, the scenes between Lisbeth and Bjurman were really hard to watch. The audience was absolutely still and absolutely quiet. But the scenes are so crucial to our understanding of Lisbeth, it’s good that they were in there.
Another one I’d definitely recommend.