Blowhard, Esq. writes:
Effective enough espionage procedural in the vein of Paul Greengrass’s United 93, to which it makes an appropriate bookend. It’s a grunt’s-eye view shot in the hyper-edited, faux-documentary style that continues to pass for “realism.” Dektoring is now twenty years old but shows no signs of letting up.
Jessica Chastain plays Maya, a mid-level CIA analyst who turns out to have the correct theory about where Bin Laden is located. Aside from ultimately being right, her character isn’t interesting nor is her struggle with her superiors, which plays like the stuff of a million inside-the-Beltway movies. Bigelow’s film only comes alive during the pure action scenes, for example when field officers attempt to locate one of Bin Laden’s couriers in a crowded Pakistani street or the final sequence in which the SEALs raid UBL’s compound.
I think Bigelow wants us to see Maya as a sort of Joan of Arc visionary, the only one with the tenacity to see the operaton through over a twelve-year timespan. Indeed, the final shot of the film seems to clearly reference Falconetti’s Joan, although it’s quite possible I was just bored by her that point and I’m reading way too much into it. A friend adds, “I haven’t rooted for a movie character to get laid since The 40 Year Old Virgin.”
- Lloyd Fonvielle didn’t think much of the movie.
- Dexter Filkins writes a short profile of Bigelow in the New Yorker. She used to hang out with Susan Sontag and Philip Glass.
- Chastain likes talking on the telephone.
I find the praise lavished on Bigelow interesting. Not that some is not deserved–I thought The Hurt Locker deserved every bit of praise it got. But building her up to a major filmmaker just like that never made all that much sense since (IMHO) most of her work over the past 20+ years has been intermittent and not all that impressive. I was not a fan of any of her early films, really, though I did find Strange Days an interesting psychedelic joyride.
My wife and I tried to get into ZDT the other night but it was sold out and we were funneled into The Hobbit instead. What is the opposite of spare and lean?
Did you see The Hobbit in 24 or 48 FPS?
Kathryn Bigelow: Expressive Esoterica, with “The Loveless”, “Near Dark”, “Point Break”, “Strange Days”, and “The Hurt Locker” in italics.
As for the movie itself: liked it, but it’s no “Day of the Jackal”.
“Day of the Jackal” came to my mind too. I remember liking Forsyth’s novel a heck of a lot more than the movie but it’s been almost two decades since I’ve read or seen either.
Speaking of Jessica’s beautiful body, you can see her in all her natural glory in the movie “Lawless”, which came out last year.
The movie wasn’t great, but she is amazing.
I saw Hobbit at 24 which was more than adequate, thanks.
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