Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Tonto Woman

Today I saw The Tonto Woman, which is an Oscar® nominee in the Live Action Short Film Category.

For a short film, this sure went on for a long time.

The story is based on an Elmore Leonard work about a woman who is kidnapped by the Apaches and traded to the Mojaves, then returned 'tainted' to her husband. A friendly Mexican happens upon her bathing topless in the desert one day and becomes her confidant. He convinces her of her worth (which her husband seems to be ignoring), then something happens at the end which I won't spoil here.

I couldn't help but think that the only nominee in this category that is spoken in English would hold my attention more than the others, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Aside from the gratuitous (and non-sensual) nudity, I felt that what could've been a shocking story became very stale in this delivery. I wanted to care about the characters, but really didn't, and the ending was quite predictable.

It wouldn't get my vote if I were a member of the Academy.


Anonymous said...

I disagree. the nudity was nothing. What about the atmosphere, the beautiful photography, the terrifically good acting. Maybe I'm older than you and see things differently, but it's about a man at the top of his (despicable) game, who falls in love and wants to rescue the maiden from the dragon. It also poses the moral dilemma whether to "follow the rules" or do what you know is right, regardless of risk. I thought Barber did a great job to pack so much in a short film, and the actors were great.
Thanks for the opportunity to be heard. Bob W.

chem 139 said...

I have to agree that the acting, the photography, the music were all amazing. The nudity wasn't gratuitous in either of the two scenes: in the first, she was strong and unfazed; in the second, she was willingly vulnerable.

Only one element of the ending was predictable. Sarah's reaction was not, nor was the final twist that tied the entire story together.

If nothing else, it's far superior to "Mozart des pickpockets," which did win the Oscar.