Archive for the ‘Uma Thurman’ Category


24 Jun

Ceremony. Directed and written by Max Winkler. Chekhovian Comedy. A young fool tries to run off with a to-be bride just before the wedding. 89 Minutes Color 2010.

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How does Lee Pace, without stealing, steal every scene he is in? He is a master actor, but that’s not why. A young man from Oklahoma, he plays an upper class British millionaire naturalist/filmmaker/star, and the English accent comes right from his bones, but that’s not why. He is tall and beautiful and sexy and young, has a fine rich speaking voice, and remarkable eyebrows, but that’s not why. No, the reason is, is that he is inherently a star, someone gifted with an inner character of soul which is meant to be seen and basked in, the same way you would bask in that of Joan Crawford or Joel Macrea or George Clooney or Edward G. Robinson or Rita Hayworth. They must be watched. You wouldn’t want to do anything else with them. They are there to be on the screen and stared at wondrously. So what you do with a star like Lee Pace is to be gaga, a little blinded, a little dazed. A surrender like that is such a treat, and its one of the reasons we go to the movies. Another is to place ourselves in the doings of such a story as Max Winkler offers us, with its rare mad excursions into side-room scenes in the lives of its five principal characters, played with juicy finesse by Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Jake M. Johnson, and Michael Angarano who is the focal character around whom all the other four swirl. I found his performance vexing. His face works as though he is chewing gum all the time, but he never is. As an annoying gnome, his miniscule grimaces are particularly prevalent at the beginning of the story, but as the story develops, the obsessive, greedy liar he is playing succumbs to the constant onslaught of well-deserved cruel truth, and the character almost becomes a human being. In character, the actor is truly nonplussed. He is knocked out, but will he ever wake up? This is an interesting trial for an audience, and a worthwhile one, because it keeps the narrative in suspense – asking both what will happen to this brat and will I ever come to like him? He is driven to steal a woman who is older than he is, who is out of his league, whom he cannot support, and who would make him a terrible wife. The script by Max Winkler is superbly surprising at all turns and corners. I think he is putting the kibosh on grunge comedy once and for all (if only). He has written (Four Weddings And A Funeral keeps coming to mind) – a comedy with the wit to make people real – that is his humor – and to make them sad – that is also his humor. Sad in the sense that every one of them is a sad sack, and funny in that every one of them is bright as all get out. Don’t miss it.









My Zinc Bed

30 Jan

My Zinc Bed — directed by  Anthony Page  — Drama. A billionaire and his wife throw temptation in the way of a recovering addict. 75 minutes color 2008.

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Do you like His Gal Friday. Do you like that rapid crossfire of conversation laced with devilish seduction? I do. So I like this piece a lot. Billionaire Jonathan Pryce plays the Imperiousness Of Addiction, cunning, baffling, powerful, and he levels his attack on the one thing he comes nowhere near possessing,: the freedom of temperament of artistic talent. So he meets the poet and he hires the poet and he even countenances the poet making love to his wife. It’s a fascinating scenario. For the wife is played by Uma Thurman, in the role of  is-she-an-alcoholic-or-isn’t-she. Thurman is just right for this part, celestially beautiful, majestic, and opaque. The poet is played by Patrick Considine, an actor I have never heard of, and he skirts all the righteous, crappy pain an English actor would ordinarily infuse into this role: think the opposite of Richard Burton at his worst. Like His Gal Friday, also known as The Front Page, My Zinc Bed is a stage play masterfully rendered into film by David Hare who wrote it and by Anthony Page who directed it. This, the fastest tennis game on camera, is shot perfectly and directed perfectly and played out perfectly by these three fine actors. Does Jonathan Pryce know everything? How could he? But one look into his eyes and you can see that not only does he know everything, but he knows everything in particular. His wife calls him constantly kind, but one wonders, how could a man so knowing and so taunting ever be also always kind? Well, this is one of the koans of this material. Well worth the experiencing for all 12 Steppers, all friends of Bill W, as it outlines the perils of white-knuckling it, the collapse of white-knuckling it, the restoration to sanity from white-knuckling it. Well worth the experience of everyone else as well.


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