Saw the new Harry Potter. It’s as gray and violent as the previous one. But my biggest peeve is the acting. It mostly consists of lots of intense staring. When the older thespians do it, they convey strong emotions and it works. When the kid actors do it, you just get a big blank. The wooden acting along with the often-absurdly severe condensations of the books have always been for me the two drawbacks of these movies. That said, as usual the special effects are amazing and you can’t help caring about these characters—after all you’ve known them for 14 years! So while I wouldn’t recommend this film to a Potter newbie, for fans it’s a must-see, especially in IMAX 3D.
Good-bye, Harry. Next to look forward to: the Hollywood butchering of “The Hunger Games” (sigh).
One of my favorite “old” movies was on late night a few weeks ago and I Tivo’d it (yes, 1981 was 28 years ago so it’s old!). As I settled in the other night to finally watch “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (screenplay by Harold Pinter, based on a wonderful novel by John Fowles) I was once again struck by the amazing Meryl Streep. I mean she is absolutely, hauntingly beautiful in this film with her wild red hair, pale face, high cheekbones, and gorgeous British accent. Karel Reisz, the director, really captured an indelible look and mood in this film via his striking star.
I compare this to my recent viewing of “Doubt,” with Streep’s drawn face and pinched lips, and then thought about her face in Julie & Julia, Mama Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, Prairie Home Companion, Heartburn, etc, etc. Can you imagine a more varied, amazing list of characters? We talk about all the old-time movie stars, including Greta Garbo as “The Face,” but I don’t think the world of film has ever seen the likes of someone like Meryl Streep.
Hardly a unique observation, I know. But I was so knocked out by her again in Lieutenant’s Woman and now can’t wait to see her chortling up a storm as Julia…