Feb 27 2012

The Artist is the best picture I never saw


I kept not going to see The Artist. When I had the chance to go to a movie I chose something else. Every time. When I was a little kid I remember everyone telling me how great The Wizard of Oz was. After I saw it I was afraid to admit how much I disliked it. I was supposed to like it. I sort of feel that way about The Artist.

I get why I’m supposed to like The Artist.  It represents the roots of Hollywood itself. For a Hollywood-type to dis The Artist would be like a Christian dissing The Gutenberg Bible.

But a silent, black and white picture doesn’t really appeal to me. On top of that it looks like there’s a lot of dancing in it. I like plot and action. I love dialog. I don’t even mind if it’s subtitled. I tend to like movies that involve people talking to one another, so I’m not a big fan of survival movies with a cast of one. Continue reading

Feb 27 2010

Paradise Falls Up in Pixar’s Academy Award-Nominated Movie


Spoiler alert: This movie is way too good to miss. If you haven’t seen it, this post does give some of it away so you might want to see it first.

Up begins as a childhood romance between two dreamers that blossoms into a happy marriage.  The wordless montage of Carl and Ellie’s life together is emotionally breathtaking. In a few moments we see how time and circumstances edge out a dream they’ve shared since childhood. It captures the way relationships spark and settle. We see how important this couple is to one another and how much their shared dream figures in their relationship. This just might be one of the loveliest bits of film I’ve ever seen. The fact that it’s animated just made it more universal.

Ellie’s scrapbook, which Carl reverences but never opens, details their childhood plans to move their clubhouse to Paradise Falls, South America. When they were children he promised to help her. Their shared love of adventure and admiration for explorer Charles Muntz brings them together as children. Even after Muntz is discredited they continue to believe in him and dream of visiting Paradise Falls some day.

For Carl their South American adventure is a catalyst for hope. From time to time they make plans which fall through and the dream finally dies with Ellie. He feels he’s failed her because they never made that trip. Continue reading