Archive for the ‘Jennifer Connolly’ Category

Dark Water

31 Mar

Dark Water — Directed by Walter Salles — Psychological Horror. A young mother moves into a new apartment whose ceiling has a sinister leak. 105 minutes Color 2005

* * * *

After the revelation and reconciliation scene, the film falls apart. This is because of a failure in the main actor and a failure in the script. The failure in the script derives from the fact that dirty water cascading from above is not an apt metaphor for a woman going insane. Nor is insanity something you die of. The script suffers from multiple personality disorder, so we have Childhood Abandonment, Ghosts, Filthy Water Cascading Down Walls, A Mean To-Be-Ex Husband Trying To Gain Control Of A Child, and Is This Woman Going Under, and our loyalties and attention are betrayed and disappointed by the failure of these to align at the end or all along. Also Jennifer Connolly is miscast. She is miscast because she is so ordinary and not strong in it. You need an actress who is both strong in her nature and unusual in her affect, vocally and physically, to play a woman who is going to become vulnerable before our eyes, a young Bette Davis. Connolly is a good workman-like actor, but nothing more. She does not have in her nature or her technical capacity the talent and the range to play a woman going insane. Being able to play migraine-headache doesn’t make it. Her big scenes with the water are simply an ordinary woman’s response to a pipe that won’t stop leaking, and the actress falls into the habit of having the character feel sorry for herself. Granted the script fails to supply her with anything but a mere external, kinematical spectacle: a flood. There is no drama in a flood. There is excitement, but there is no drama. The flood does not bring us inside the character at all, even were the actress capable of realizing the transformation and the salvation of insanity. The rest of the film is superb. The brown non-special effects drowning of the walls, the apartment house set, and all the set decoration, are superb. The music and sound are superb. The direction is excellent. The editing is particularly fine. And the acting of the supporting players could not be bettered. John C. Reilly is brilliantly detailed and funny as the rental agent. Pete Postlethwaite is brilliant in ambiguity as the concierge. Ariel Gade could not be bettered as the young daughter. Tim Roth is tops as the busy lonely attorney. And the great Camryn Manheim steals every scene she is in. It’s worth seeing for all of this and not worth for all the rest of this.


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