Friday, July 22, 2005

Movies: A Study in Contrasts

I saw two movies last weekend, which couldn't have been more different from each other.

Sideways, 2004, was an Oscar nominee. Two guys go on a California wine country weekend. They were best friends in college; now they are at least 10 years older. One is a fading actor about to get married to a rich girl. The other is an aspiring novelist waiting to hear if his novel has been picked up by a publisher. They are very different personalities and the only thing between them is that old college relationship.

They meet women, shit happens. In fact, they are both so male! Completely opposite viewpoint from a chick flick. I wanted to hate these guys, especially the actor character who is so shallow. But the acting was great and I was entertained in spite of myself. My husband did not fall asleep this time.

Next we go to Africa for Hotel Rwanda. Intense, gruesome, moving. Don Cheadle is stunning in his role as an African working in a white man's world who must then become the leader of his countrymen as they try to survive civil and tribal war. Heaviest of all was the message that the white world deserted this country in its time of trouble. I found a similarity to the way we turn our backs on the killing and gang wars in the slums of this country.


  1. I tried so hard to watch Sideways. I heard and saw that it received so many awards. It didn't keep my attention, I didn't even finish watching it. All the kids were asleep so I can't say that was the reason! Now, for me to say that is saying a lot. I can watch just about anything even if I don't end up liking it! I was disappointed, I really wanted it to be a winner in my book!

    I can't wait to see Hotel Rwanda, thanks for your review.

  2. Larry Tutor12:33 PM

    Finally someone agrees with Diane and myself about "Sideways" which I found to be truly one of the most overly praised films in the last 30 years. To say something even less popular, I really think Paul Giamatti may be the most over-rated actor working in films today. His presentational style of "acting" (read:indicating)reminds me of Tim Conway or Harvey Corman on the old Carol Burnett show. Like Jack Black, he turns a cliche on its head- if he were not so homely people would see that he has no talent....