Monday, April 27, 2009
ALMOST: (Thomas McCarthy) This film sums up the essence of my "Almost" categorization. It literally almost gets the mark for being a great film, but instead, carried out a monotonous solemnity for almost two hours, offering plenty of rising action but zero ending. The film starts off with whimsical intrigue, giving us quiet and dorky Professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins). He arrives to his Manhattan apartment to find its been lent out to two illegal aliens. They're nice people, interesting even, so Walter decides it's okay if they stay there. (Um, can we say, not on your life!!) Sure enough, (aka, predictably) Walter and his new roommate, Tarek share an interest in music, so Walter takes lessons on the djembe and before you know it they're on the streets playing for change together. Walter, the professor, who since widowed, has slothed his way through a meaningless life, is now a street drummer playing 4/4 beats like his dred-locked amis. It's the beginning of a life turned around--so much so that he even meets another woman, who he subtly affects with tickets to plays and again, offering room and board. Unfortunately, a chain of American events happen, taking both Tarek and his wife away from Walter, and ultimately his new girlfriend, leaving us, where? No conclusions are drawn. Will he go back to school? Will he keep drumming? Lots of questions in the end of a potentially fantastic story. Unfortunately, the melancholy is the overarching factor here, leaving me both fidgety and bored. Plus, Jenkins one-face role in this film seems a far-fetched nod over some other notables in this year's awards. DiCaprio nudged out of the running for this guy?