Sunday, November 16, 2008

Has but four scenes

Greetings all!

Just before we get stuck into today's Pride and Glory bundle, a quick hope that you are all having a pleasant Sunday (or Monday) and a jubilatory bon anniversaire to Martha Plimpton, who is very very young today.

Now, on with the latest:

Refusing to budge from the do-you-mind-if-we-don't-watch-it category today (to put it mildly!) we have Ireland's The Munster Express, America's A Fort Made of Books, India's the Hindustan Times, and Rediff, also from India (who despite believing in the artistic excellence of the film's actors still refer to it as 'Fake and Gory').

Moving along the spectrum and bridging the gap between the nays and the yays is The Sakaal Times, or more specifically Jennifer Ehle. After listing a number of negatives, the publication concedes that 'Abby Tierney (Jennifer Ehle) ... draws our sympathy to a certain extent.'

Even further up, there are some good-quality yays to counteract the nays. Johnson Thomas at DNA India says Jennifer Ehle (as Abby) is 'heart-wrenchingly sincere', while Cosmic Film Trigger refuses to be swayed by many of the shots hitherto fired in the film's direction:
[...] In this film, it's true that nothing presented is particularly original and much of it has been seen many times before. Having said that, there is something undeniably poignant about this production and all the formulaic measures lose out to a gripping, intense cop drama that shows the perils of institutionalized violence and how easily corruption can come to the fore. [...]
The actors are also championed:
[...] The performances in this film are all uniformly excellent. Jennifer Ehle has but four scenes but she demonstrates a resolve that is as refreshing as it is difficult to contemplate. [...]
Elsewhere, the UK reviews are continuing to battle it out for most bizarre way of voicing a nay. The Sun (predicting the confusion that will arise from the pieces of Spanish dialogue) is alone in using simple language to explain its position. Others go for food analogies (The Daily Telegraph finding the film 'lumpy', The FT 'overcooked'), while the Daily Mail likens the film (in one of its nicer comments) to 'a peculiarly accident-prone building site'.

All is not lost however. Indicating the existence of some all-important public yays is Suze from Derbyshire, who politely takes on one of the tabloids above by responding thus:

[...] I went to see this film today with some trepidation due to many pretty negative reviews, both from UK and US critics. I thoroughly enjoyed it - it didn't seem like a 2 hour+ film in length to me. I agree that Colin Farrell unfortunately came over as pretty one dimensional - his reason for going bad was fairly unconvincing but I thought both Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich were outstanding. Critics seem to forget that we mere cinema goers don't walk in with an encyclopaedic knowledge of films, preparing to compare every film in the same genre. I enjoyed this film for itself - not in comparison to anything else remotely similar. I just hope people aren't put off from going to see it and giving it a chance. [...]

Thankfully, some reviewers are also as happy as Suze. In a refreshing bout of positivity, the North Wales Pioneer use the words 'powerhouse', 'example', 'acting' and 'of' in the same sentence, and conclude that Pride and Glory is 'certainly one of the most engaging performance movies to come out this year'.

Still more lay a few nice comments, but leave their harsh ones poking through. The Times Online talks of 'gritty' performances, but then claims the film comes 'from the “tough cops shouting at each other” school of drama', thus leaving the page's only redeeming quality to be the picture of Colin Firth sitting alongside the review.

Restoring the equilibrium again is blogger John at Cultural Affairs. Like an American Suze, he acknowledges the nays with the yays - but urges us to take our behinds off to view Pride and Glory anyway:
[...] I enjoyed it but it has this 'you seen it before' feeling while watching it. It's loaded with cliches that you see on TV cop shows but I think this movie rises above them. ...

There are better cop movies but you won't go wrong if you like this cast that includes Jennifer Ehle (of Pride & Prejudice fame) in a brief but touching performance as Noah's dying wife urging him to do the right thing. [...]
The next scheduled releases are in Iceland (November 21) and the Netherlands, Belgium and France in the first week of December.

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