Movies to watch

Advent 3 – Saturday

Elegy (starring Ben Kingsley, Penélope Cruz, Patricia Clarkson, Peter Sarsgaard & Dennis Hopper)

The Science of Sleep (starring Gael García Bernal & Charlotte Gainsbourg)

Paris, Je T’aime (starring too many damn French actors and actresses that I can’t remember them all)

Synecdoche, New York (starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and a whole bunch of US actors)

The Girl In The Café (starring Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald, Ken Stott, Anton Lesser and Corin Redgrave)

OK, correction. I’m watching Elegy now.

And there’s something about this movie that hits me. Apart from wanting to read the Philip Roth novel it is based upon, The Dying Animal.

As freakin’ scary as it is to me to say this, but my gosh I recognize there is a lot of David Kepesh (Kingsley’s character) in me. OK, maybe not all the screwing around (literally) that Kepesh does in the film. But that very essence of Kepesh: his insecurity about commitment to love in a deeper way that goes beyond just the mere physical expression of it is the thing that ultimately undoes him before he finally realizes how meaningless his life has really become. And in the very end, he does have a form of redemption (to my mind at least).

The screenplay to Elegy is apparently a very faithful take on Roth’s novel. Maybe this will be a book I will have to hunt down in 2010 to read.

Kingsley does a wonderful job playing Kepesh. For Penélope Cruz, the same for her role as Consuela.

The dialog between Kingsley and Hopper is hilarious at times. And in that most poignant moment between these two best friends, I ended laughing my ass off. And in the end, between Consuela and Kepesh, one feels the pain between and for each of their respective characters.

The soundtrack contains a few of my favorite modern works of classical music: Satie and Pärt and some beautiful jazz pieces by Chet Baker and Madeleine Peyroux.

I just wish more films these days embody the same poignancy and beauty in words, cinematography, sounds and ideas that Elegy does. Gimme this over Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen or 2012 anyday.

+ 2335hrs

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