Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Blueberry Nights

This morning I saw Blueberry Nights, starring Norah Jones and Jude Law.

I expected so much more from this film.

As a big fan of director Wong Kar Wai, I knew the movie would be shot beautifully, have a meaningful soundtrack and involve the topic of love. And I was right—all of those elements were present, but what was missing was the intrigue of his past films and actors who fit the parts.

Jude Law, who plays café server Jeremy, is the only one in this movie that seems to fit. He's a disheveled, lonely worker who genuinely misses his regular customer Elizabeth (Jones) when she suddenly disappears.

Jones, who has the voice of an angel and a stunning face to go with it, is sadly not much of an actress. I really, really wanted to like her in this role, but her delivery was so static and robotic, I couldn't be forced to care about her character.

Anyway, Elizabeth has just experienced a bitter breakup and is searching for something new to take away the pain. She begins a nightly ritual of visiting Jeremy in his café and eating blueberry pie with him into the wee hours of the night.

One day she decides the memories of her relationship in New York are too much for her to bear, so she sets out on a direction-less journey, which takes her to Memphis and Las Vegas. Along the way she encounters more poorly cast folks (Natalie Portman as a cheap gambler; David Strathairn as a possessive alcoholic) that are no more endearing than their caricatures would suggest.

The meandering nature of the film is somewhat of a hallmark for Kar Wai, but when it doesn't work it only forces us to look at our watch.

After leaving this long movie, which was actually quite brief, all I wanted to do was listen to Jones' hit CD Come Away With Me, watch Kar Wai's masterpiece In the Mood for Love and eat a slice of blueberry pie.

My own direction-less journey to take away the pain of this disappointment.

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