Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Factory Girl

MUST-SEE: (Hickenlooper) Never before has over the top eye make-up, fake fur, and enormous dangling earrings made such an impression for a life that was lived too fast, but too short. The portrait of Edie Sedgewick as she evolved out of art school into a world controlled by Andy Warhol is the gut of Factory Girl. An adorable Sienna Miller superbly plays the waif Sedgewick capturing a rare and raw emotion amidst what appears a glamorous lifestyle. The film carries us well from her rebellion from art school, through her curious and innocent explorations of New York, all the way to her downfall; a naked and bruised body enclosing a tormented and aching soul. Miller does a fantastic job at conquering each characteristic of a true Edie. Her style and her accent truly reflects the trendsetter and outlandish persona Edie carried. As for the film, the casting is perfect, the depiction of The Factory was convincing, and the overall tone evoked a creepiness that made her destruction even more tragic. The script remains true to Edie's heart, borderline exploiting Warhol and gripping the audience in her favor. The credits run alongside an audio/visual montage of past friends and family speaking on the essence of Edie. All in all, the film was enlightening, saddening, and inspiring. If you can move your heart past the drugs and past the sadness, you will experience a phenomenal story of one of the greatest trendsetters and art icons of our recent history.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Away From Her

MUST-SEE: Away from Her is a beautiful story. Don't get me wrong, though, this film is tragically heartbreaking, but the story behind the heartbreak, or rather, about the heartbreak is so honestly told that one cannot help but be taken by its beauty. It's the story of a couple facing Alzheimer's. A husband's decision to admit his degenerative wife into a home for people with the disease becomes his fight to hold onto any part of her that might still recollect their history together. At first a bitter man, angry at having to watch his wife forget him and fall in love with another patient, Grant grows into a man who loves his wife so much he sacrifices his own happiness to bring her heart back. I won't ruin the ending, but as the film states of Alzheimer's, the memories come and go, one minute they are themselves, the next they don't know who you are. Grant struggles with his wife's coming and going, weighing his options for his own happiness ans sanity. A devoted husband to a phenomenal history of a marriage, Grant becomes a symbol of unconditional love in its purest form. It will break your heart slowly, but fully. It will remind you of life's unfair possibilities, and remind you that we are never promised tomorrow. See this film for an inspiration in love and self-discovery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rescue Dawn

WORTH IT: Before any comment on the film itself, I must say, what a phenomenal story. And, what a phenomenal survivor. For those that don't know, Rescue Dawn is the true story of pilot Deiter Dengler, whose plane crashes in the jungle of Laos during an air raid. He is captured by angry rebels and held prisoner indefinitely. The film depicts the story of a struggle to discover willpower, the struggle to remain sane in an impossible world, and the struggle to stay alive amidst trigger-happy and starving Cambodians. The film takes off on an odd tone, making Christian Bale's Dengler appear pompous, not taking his feat seriously and offended by the treatment of his captors. His attitude left strange and disconnected feelings from what could have been a heart-wrenching tale. Fortunately, as the plot treads, Werner Herzog brings the audience right into the heart and mind of his characters, revealing their fears and their abandoned hopes, as well as their protruding bones and rotting teeth. Alongside breathtaking scenery, he tags eating live snakes, pulling leeches off bare skin, and uncontrollable bowels, painting a picture of utter suffering. By the end, the awkward tone had evolved into a deep concern for the situation. His hopelessness and frustration are evident. Inspired by his determination and his strength of mind and body, I felt my heart feeling for the man. For me, it was a the story of a man, not a war, whose mind and spirit matures through a gut-splitting trauma, and who is taught to search for his deepest purpose and faith to carry the title and reputation of the United States of America through a dark and violent jungle.