Thursday, February 21, 2008

Things We Lost In The Fire

I’m not totally sure what I was expecting from this movie but I’m sure I wasn’t expecting a very good movie and indeed the story involved me even when in the beginning was not that engaging but as soon as things start to happen it got very engaging.

This Danish Susan Bier debut in American cinema is a very well constructed movie and drama with outstanding performance by Benicio del Toro. Have to share that I’m no fan of Benicio del Toro but in this movie where he totally steals the movie he is excellent and I’m thinking that he should do more roles with European directors that allow him to go beyond his regular American fare. Halle Berry has a good performance even when her character goes in a flat state of denial that makes her look like in trance, but I assume that’s what the character was supposed to do.

The movie style does not seem too American (framing, Dogma handheld camera shots, etc.) which makes it very interesting and pleasant to watch (even when the story is a serious drama) and of course I found that the director is Danish after I saw the movie, so I am not surprised that some American critics dismiss the movie as one that was done to obtain nominations and awards. This bugs me but then I know that most American critics judge what they are seeing by the so-called “Hollywood standards” that produce so many bad movies.

Anyway the movie tells about overcoming grief and heroin addiction from the most unexpected sources. Obviously many things happen, some expected and some not expected.

There is one miscast that I didn’t enjoyed at all and is David Duchovny as Halle Berry husband. Not only there was no chemistry between them but also Dochovny seems to not act beyond his role in the TV series he did. That’s why the beginning was hard to sustain, but as soon as he’s no longer in the screen the movie becomes interesting and engaging.

I don’t believe this movie is for all audiences as it is not the regular American/Hollywood drama. I think that those that like European cinema will enjoy the movie. Still, I suggest you give it a try as is one of the latest movies I have seen where adequately blends some American and full European styles.


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