Bridge Over Troubled Water [THE GRADUATE]

Please go to http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1997/03/bridge-over-troubled-water-2/

Published on 28 Mar 1997 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Sex Drive [on CRASH]

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http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1997/03/sex-drive/

Published on 21 Mar 1997 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Crash

David Cronenberg wrote and directed this 1996 film, a masterful minimalist adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1973 neo-futurist novel about sex and car crashes, and like the book it’s audacious and intensethough ultimately somewhat monotonous in spite of its singularity. James Spader meets Holly Hunter via a car collision, and they and Spader’s wife (Deborah Kara Unger) become acquainted with a kind of car-crash guru (Elias Koteas) and his own set of friends (including Rosanna Arquette). Sex and driving are all that this movie and its characters are interested in, but the lyrical, poetic, and melancholic undertones are potent, the performances adept and sexy, the sounds and images indelible. If you want something that’s both different and accomplished, even if you can’t be sure what it is, don’t miss this. 100 min. (JR)

Published on 18 Mar 1997 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Of all the egregious fashion spreads and sops to cultural intimidation and middlebrow guilt that have been derived from highly respected 19th- and 20th-century novels over the past few yearsas dubious a cycle of art movies as I can think ofthis has got to be the dumbest and most offensive. Writer-director Bernard Rose’s compost heap of arch poses from the Tolstoy novel has absolutely none of the elements that make the book memorable or even worth reading; for starters, forget about the opening lines about happy and unhappy families, Vronsky’s toothache after Anna’s suicide, and Levin’s exhilaration in the fields. In fact, Levin is now the tale’s narrator, even though a good half of the plot has little to do with himthe parallel stories in Tolstoy’s novel are now parallel only in the sense that unrelated books shelved together areand even the inspired notion of casting Alfred Molina in the part can’t make up for what he’s called upon to say and do. The disastrous casting decision for Anna is Sophie Marceau, complete with incomprehensible French accent, and Sean Bean plays Vronsky as if he wishes nobody would notice, a sentiment I can sympathize with. Occasional and seemingly arbitrary snippets of writing and dialogue are given in Russian, apparently to remind us that this isn’t a story about people speaking English, and the flourish of handwriting at the end is supposed to make us think that Levin is simply Tolstoy’s stand-in. I’d give a lot to forget that this movie ever existed. With Mia Kirshner, James Fox, and Danny Huston. (JR)

Published on 17 Mar 1997 in Featured Texts, by admin

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The Thrill is Gone [SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW]

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http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1997/03/the-thrill-is-gone/

Published on 14 Mar 1997 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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