Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Enough already

I need yellow blue and green
Warmth and light and sound
But there's only white to be seen
And frozen silence all around


Last night "The Hours" was on BBC2. I couldn't resist watching it again, it's hard to find a movie where all leading characters are so shatteringly well played. I must say that I find Nicole Kidman's Virginia Woolf one of the best ever female performances in cinema. Ever. And Julianne Moore is nothing short of sublime in her portrayal of the sacrificial 1950's American housewife. As for Meryl Streep's Clarissa - Mrs. Dalloway - well... it always moves me to tears (as does Ed Harris's tragic Richard). That genius who goes by the name of Philip Glass further catapults these superb performances into even higher heights of effectiveness through an extraordinarily brilliant film score.

I always feel a relapse into my darker moods after "The Hours" however... The whole subject is too close for comfort and the mastery of its cinematographic mise en scène drives it like a spike into my soul.

Enough already.

11 comments:

Ruth said...

Inge's been talking about it, making me want to see it again. I've seen it only once, and I'd forgotten completely about Julianne Moore's character and story. Reminds me of her role in Far from Heaven, also brilliant.

This montage of images, with your words, and Glass' music,is powerful, and haunting. Please put some yellow and orange flowers around your lovely home.

On my drive to work yesterday I had the image of your avatar face in my mind - such clear eyes. Beautiful. I see your face among these faces, and when I hear what you suffer, I think of the complexities - how much there is to a life. So little we can share with each other, actually, even with those closest.

João said...

Olha, encontrei estas duas no domingo :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joaop1960/4265440653/

São qualquer coisa não são ?

Return to your music to keep you warm.

Claudia said...

Ruth, it's a powerful and difficult movie but its poignancy is tremendous for anyone who relates to the subject.

João, thanks.

rauf said...

oh no ! i am not a doctor Claudia but i would prescribe all the episodes of 'To the Manor Born'
Penelope Keith will tell you to look only at the brighter side of life. If you have already watched please watch them again. Were you in UK in the early 80's ? It was a BBC serial.

i didn't notice Philip Glass Claudia, that is the perfect musical score, where it blends with powerful visuals you hardly notice the presence of any music. like David Fincher's 'Seven' Maurice Jarre's music in David Lean's movies sticks out. Had a hard time recognising Nicole Kidman in the movie, she looked so different, that got her an Oscar. i think all of them deserved an Oscar, most of them were nominated that year.

The snow will go Claudia. Please wait for the spring. It will come, it has to come, it can't go away.

Ruth said...

I would like to see it again, so I've added it to my Netflix queue. I read the book years ago too. It is poignant, it does such an amazing job reflecting how women cover up their true feelings to accommodate others. Well it's more complex than that. Clare Danes was good too, and Allison Janney. I look forward to rewatching it. It makes me also want to read Mrs. Dalloway again.

Weather.com says more snow at the moment. I hope you'll have some sun soon!

Oh, and I watched one episode of To the Manor Born after rauf recommended it, and I loved it! I think it was called the First Noel. The main character is hilarious, I love her attitude - so proud even though she's lost her manor. I like watching the British version of The Office too, with Rickie Gervais. Better yet, his youtube videos. This one on The Bible is quite wonderful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_EXqdJ4L7I

Claudia said...

Dear rauf, dear Ruth,

I had never heard of 'To the Manor Born' until today and I've just laughed my socks off watching the episode mentioned by Ruth. Thank you both so much!! I'm going to keep watching during my work breaks.

It's snowing yet again and I spent 50 minutes stuck in the snow during the school run (it usually takes 10 minutes). Watching Penelope Keith and Ricky Gervais did me a world of good.

The Office is absolutely super. When it came out I kept saying to myself "They've got my manager down to a t". I stopped working for my "David Brent" shortly after that.

I had watched The Bible video before, at rauf's suggestion a while back. Brilliant.

Thanks for cheering me up :)

Ruth said...

Now I'm smiling. So glad. And that's crazy about the snow slowing you down.

Trulyfool said...

Funny. Everything in the film was calling to me. Virginia Woolf, the 3 actresses, Ed Harris. Philip Glass. All that, top rank.

Came away mixed. What worked well were the V Woolf parts, Nicole Kidman. The Julianne Moore segments echoed her Far From Heaven 50s role, good, but . . . . The Meryl Streep 'current day' parts suffered from some of the worst dialogue I've heard on film. Lame. Wow. Lame.

I went to the theater not knowing that there was an AIDS element to it, and it was so utterly lugubrious, hopeless -- it needed some . . . well, real 'drama'.

Once AIDS was handled in the Mike Nichols film version of Angels In America, the whole topic became hard to address. Hard act to follow. A In A is art, for sure.

I know that some people value art on the very basis of its social relevance. For me, social relevance is something, while beneficial to find, is first off an artistic obstacle to overcome, material to transmute.

Social relevance is, if this doesn't seem harsh, the shunned relative who the rest of the family knows they have an obligation to treat nicely and serve out of a bond of closeness -- but . . . which one of us is going to be responsible for cousin Charley tonight when we go out to the multi-star Michelin restaurant?

Sorry to play 'critic'. I've tried not to do that too much in my blogging -- people do it too much as is.

Claudia said...

That's the one thing I can't be about this movie, Trulyfool, an objective critic. But as far as Julianne Moore's 1950's characters are concerned, Laura Brown (The Hours) is far more complex than Cathy Whitaker (Far from Heaven). As for AIDS, it is a mere minor accessory in "The Hours", the movie is not about that at all (although it does give the wonderful Ed Harris the oportunity to shine like a diamond). The "current day" dialogue might be awkward but what's happening on the screen far transcends any exchange of words. As far as I'm concerned, anyway...

Peter said...

Why don't I have this film among my DVD's? I saw it only once when it was released some 7 or 8 years ago (?). On my list at the next stop at FNAC.

Stephen Daldry seems to be very good in chosing and directing the best actresses and actors. Kate Winslet got her Oscar last year also in a Daldry film!

Evy said...

thank you for taking me back to this film and this music.