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Dramas > My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar-wai)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Jan 24, 2009 09:30AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I never thought I'd use the word "yummy" in a review, though I would recommend CHUNGKING EXPRESS a hundredfold over this bitter recipe. If interested, my review for CHUNGKING EXPRESS is lurking in the archives.

MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS (Wong Kar-wai, 2008, USA) Elizabeth is running to stand still, frustrated and alone, her empty nights drenched in the neon blue glow of broken hearts and fractured dreams. Jeremy is lost but grounded, mired in the routine of daily life, owner of a small café. He desperately hopes that true love will find him; unlike the evening’s blueberry leftovers, an elliptical nexus that becomes a confectious fait accompli. A jar full of keys discarded by jilted lovers remains the last vestige of hope for companionship. Director Wong Kar-wai tells a sublime human story that happens between the actions as Elizabeth journeys far from her destiny: she finds herself reflected upon the dark visage of colorful strangers. Wong Kar-wai has cannibalized his great film CHUNGKING EXPRESS and made the premise more accessible for American audiences: MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS is like the yummy dessert photographs on the menu: it looks like the best piece of pie you’ve ever seen only to discover you’ve been fed a substandard imitation. Norah Jone’s may have a tearfully soulful singing voice but her performance is corrosively one-dimensional, her only expression one of bewilderment and confusion (though she does have a lovely smile). Fortunately, the supporting cast carries the heavy emotional burden and delivers the goods! David Strathairn steals the film with a bittersweet portrayal of a scorned alcoholic police officer and Natalie Portman is surprisingly adept as a slick gambler. Jude Law imbues Jeremy with a believable depth of static passion, a forlorn passive performance. The cinematography saturates the narrative with explosive colors or descends into melancholy chiaroscuro: the opening shot is reminiscent of 2046 as the L-train rockets into the abyssal night. Overall, a disappointing film that is high in calories and fat grams but ultimately unfulfilling: you’re still hungry a half-hour later. (C)

message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10615 comments i couldn't bring myself to watch this, and your review justifies my considerations. i really like wong kar-wai, (as if i haven't said that enough), but the whole air about this film read dreadful...

message 3: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I'm still in shock over Natalie Portman: after the Lucas fiascos I never realized she could act! But it's not enough to justify a recommendation, and you know I love Wong Kar-wair films! As I said in the review, watch CHUNGKING EXPRESS again and skip this one.

message 4: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10615 comments i like natalie portman's work - i didn't catch those star wars episodes with her - had no use for them.

chungking express is in the collection...on hand to enjoy!

message 5: by Meg (last edited Jan 24, 2009 05:27PM) (new)

Meg (megvt) | 362 comments I actually enjoyed this film. It was ok, the acting was ok, but it held my interest. I rated it a 3 star, and I believe that it is. I was disappointed with Nora Jones's acting, but her role was a monotone and I am not sure she will make it as an actress. But she has good lineage, and an amazing voice.

message 6: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Well said Meg! My (C) grade translates on Netflix to a 3 star review so we feel about the same.

message 7: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10615 comments one of the reasons i didn't see it was because norah was in it. she's kind of a friend of mine - i'm much closer to her ex and the other members of her band, but she really didn't want to do the film. she kept telling wong kar-wai that "i'm not an actress!", but he pushed her really hard and said "don't worry"...from everything i heard about the movie, he should have paid heed to her warning.

message 8: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Jan 25, 2009 06:11AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments That is just too cool Phillip! Well, it shows up on the silver screen, her performance is corrosive (or, more politely, dissolves or dilutes) the overall narrative but the other actors are exceptional. During emotionally tumultous scenes, Wong Kar-wai would often focus on the supporting cast and leave Norah as a soft background blur. But he was right in capturing her beautiful smile:)

Phiilip, there is one cool song that Norah sings on the soundtrack (I don't know the name) and damn if it doesn't sound like Ryan Adams wrote it. Is there a connection there?

PS: I'm free this Friday night. If you could give Norah my e-mail address I'll take her out to a great movie. At my place, of course:)

message 9: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10615 comments i haven't seen the movie - so i don't know about the song. i could ask if you want.

well, she broke up with my good friend lee (right after she made the movie), they had lived together for years, since before the first album came out. she hooked up with jude law for a minute (but he's married....whoops!), now i don't know who she's seeing.

message 10: by Allysse (new)

Allysse | 5 comments I think the song is called The Story...

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