DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP!
Naomi Watts as Lady Di
With a plethora of highly entertaining and well-produced biographical movies under our belt, we hoped the new one on Princess Di, the ill-fated and sweet royal screwed by the Buckingham crowd, would join the pantheon.
The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Burton & Taylor, Marilyn and Infamous, all set us a-quiver. We never thought we’d say it, but the stunning and wonderful actress Naomi Watts provides dim wattage when compared to the actual Lady Di whose demure demeanor and swan-like beauty has no comparison. Yet, the film is moving and melancholy, showing Diana in her bittersweet final days.
As homage, this is another sad and sensitive depiction of legends walking through mine fields. Diana resembles Marilyn in their hopeless battle against the corrosive effect of fame.
With a focus in her last two years of life, the film details how she goes from a woman with a penchant for Bach to a looser jazz, all under the watchful eye of endless spies.
A sad little love story, Diana finds herself with a Pakistani doctor—and Dodi as a ruse, but the ultimate irony is that her plans all go awry with one reluctant ride in Paris.
Art Malik and Geraldine James have featured roles. Back in the early 1980s they were stars of The Jewel in the Crown, a popular miniseries. Here they are again witnesses to the crown in free-fall. Diana’s tragedy still hurts.
Diana’s recurring nightmare about falling won’t land in a garden of love as she had hoped. This is a worthwhile small film with a big message.
Ossurworld’s insightful movie reviews are collected in MOVIE MASHUP and its companion piece MOVIES TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE. Both books are available on Amazon.com in softcover or ebook.
Everything is Possible in The Impossible
The greatest tsunami in recorded history happened on December 26, 2004, in which hundreds of thousands of victims were killed around the globe.
The enormity and gravity of a cataclysm can only be hinted at in The Impossible, which puts the focus on one small family on holiday in Thailand.
The actual disaster is seen in limited scope, but is horrific in its fright. Disaster is always a personal experience and its test of people comes individually and within families. Unlike many disaster films, this one stays on one family and their trauma.
Naomi Watts last had a battle with a giant in King Kong, but nothing compares to having one’s life ripped into shards of despair and hopelessness.
Ewan MacGregor plays her debris-dashing husband who finds himself separated from his wife and eldest son. In his search he makes a bizarre decision to abandon his two terrified youngest sons seven and three. Perhaps it was shock, but it seems cruel in the face of Nature’s cruelty.
Acting is superior. Tom Holland as Lucas reminds of a young Jamie Bell and likely has a solid acting career ahead. The film also boasts a cameo of an old woman who looks familiar because she is none other than Geraldine Chaplin.
The gruesome injuries and brutal conditions make the shenanigans of most action pictures shameful. Here we see pain and triumph of the human spirit without the silly veneer Hollywood often wishes to spread like cheap cheese-dip on a cracker.
J.A. Bayona directs a powerful microcosm of a major event in human history. We can only understand true tragedy in terms of people living in ordinary circumstance when the mind-boggling facts confront them. It is always worse in movie flashback, as these people learn about post-traumatic stress.
Be sure to read William Russo’s movie reviews in MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE, available at Amazon.com in both softcover and e-book.