Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not, actually, a movie review; i.e., shallower

Is it too late to harsh on a movie (Random Hearts) that came out last millennium, that mostly got panned back when it came out?

Yeah, probably. And in all fairness, I can't justifiably harsh on a movie that I SAT THROUGH FROM BEGINNING TO END, even with the added disincentive of commercial interruptions every ten minutes on the ten minutes.

(And no wonder all the ads were for old-people-medical conditions: apart from a few slightly crazed night owls like your humble blogger, it's easy to imagine how the audience for this movie -- a non-hit, interruptedly presented as it was, more than a decade after release, on basic cable (remember when your monthly fee was promised to mean "no commercials?" No? Maybe I am getting old.) -- was expected, on average, to have been eligible to vote for Hoover.)

For one thing, it takes a fair amount of something to get me to sit through a Harrison Ford movie

There has never been a good Harrison Ford movie.
What about ...
No. There may have been good movies that have
also happened to have had Harrison Ford in them.
Not the same thing.

and in this case, it was Kristin Scott Thomas.

I was quite taken with her looks. Ambiguously, to start. She is skinnier than I prefer

Unusual for a Hollywood actress, that.

and her style in this movie (aggravated, doubtless, by her being cast as a Republican member of Congress) made me think, again to start, as nothing so much as an elegant version of Dana Perino.

But she was quite compelling. And became ever more so as the movie went on. Even playing the now-comically implausible role of a Republican with brains and a heart.

So, anyway, it was something worth sitting through, evidently, at least for me in those hours. And after it was over, thinking "where have I see her before?," I Googled her.

Turns out I have not seen any of the movies for which she is best known, but there was a bit, at the end of her Wikipedia entry, that made for a sad laugh.

In case you haven't seen this movie, allow me to observe that among its good points, it took a decently nuanced look at adultery (from the point of view of the non-cheating spouses (and do we pretend that cuckold is gender-neutral these days?)), and presented a fairly strong condemnation of the hyper-attention paid to the minutiae of politicians' personal lives, in no small part as their children get dragged in. There were several moments where it was observed that the complications of her character's personal life would be of no interest to anyone, if she were anything other than a politician.

So, this:

... Scott Thomas is divorced from French gynaecologist François Olivennes, with whom she has three children: Hannah (born in 1988), Joseph (1991), and George (2000). They had been together for 18 years.

The separation was reportedly precipitated by her romantic involvement with English actor Tobias Menzies, whom she met while appearing in Chekhov's play Three Sisters in London's West End.

In the sense that this information does not destroy her career, okay. But I cannot think she is exactly thrilled that it is out there, nor that she dismisses it as mere gossip.

Anyway, I can't in good conscience recommend this movie. I think Harrison Ford is one of those actors who make some people me think "why am I having to fill in all of the lines for this guy?" while others, maybe, think that he is being all subdued and subtexty or some shit, but even apart from that, it's the kind of movie where you get to the end and wonder what made you stick it out. Besides Kristin Scott Thomas, I mean.


Ocean said...

I watched that movie a long time ago. Or rather, I started to watch the movie but didn't finish, mostly due to the unbearable poor quality of everything in it. Ford's acting was really bad. He isn't a great actor but he's very attractive and has charisma. When he is aligned with his character he can be enjoyable, but not in this case. The plot of the movie seemed to be ambitious, but certainly didn't get anywhere near its ambitions. As to the lady's looks, I'll leave it up to you to decide. She is certainly not my type. ;)

PS: One of the movies that I liked a lot and liked Harrison Ford's acting was K-19 The Widowmaker. Great movie and wonderful Ford and Neeson!

E R E said...

LOL. clearly this indicates that you should be watching bloggingheads again . . .anything but harrison ford trying to ::shudder:: act.

i feel you on the "why am i watching this crappy movie on cable at 3am?" thing, though. i've watched entire Lifetime made-for-tv movies in similar settings.

Brendan said...

@Ocean: I suppose your inability to see what I saw in Kristin Scott Thomas is mirrored by my inability to see what you (and women writ large) see in Harrison Ford. (But, charisma? Really?)

Never heard of K-19 The Widowmaker. I do usually like Liam Neeson, so perhaps someday, I will have the chance to give it a shot.

@ERE: Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.