Dec. 28, 2006

Christmas Means... Films!

Chris and I had a cozy little Christmas morning together and then he was off to his mother's for the week. He'll actually be back on Friday afternoon because we're flying down to Florida early on Saturday morning. Time to start packing, gathering passports, etc!

I've been spending my time this week with friends, which largely boils down to seeing films together. I've seen The Good Shepherd with my friend Brian and Dreamgirls with Sheryl and her sister-in-law, while Sunday night I saw Night at the Museum with Chris. I've also been working out to shed those Christmas pounds.

The Good Shepherd was a thought-provoking and complex fictionalisation of the birth and early years of the CIA, as illuminated by life of Edward Wilson (played by Matt Damon). It had a great cast, with Michael Gambon, John Turturro and William Hurt standing out for me. Angelina Jolie was solid in her supporting role too, but they couldn't quite quench her sensuality... Matt Damon's subtle performance was hard to assess as Edward Wilson was such a reserved character. The film's structure turned on Wilson's unblinking, and ultimately self-defeating, focus on duty and secrecy. From a historical perspective it was depressing to see how callous and self-obsessed the American elite, as represented by the Skull and Bones "secret society", were and no doubt still are.

Dreamgirls was a different story altogether. Also a long and tangled tale, the music and performances were riveting and ultimately uplifting. Great costumes and choreography too. And who knew Eddie Murphy could sing? Beyoncé Knowles did well enough, but there's no doubt that the stand-out performance, both vocally and emotionally was by new discovery Jennifer Hudson. Ironically, just like her character Effie, Jennifer's voice probably has too much personality for a pop career. The slimmer talent and figure of Beyoncé will no doubt continue to hold the spotlight just as her character in the film did.

Listening to: Clear the Area by Imogen Heap from Speak for Yourself.

1 comment:

  1. And who knew Eddie Murphy could sing?

    Don't you remember "Party all the time"? :)