Thighs Wide Shut Thighs Wide Shut

Friday, October 19

How To Make
An American Guilt

Rendition and Reservation Road
Not All Roads Are Paved With Oscar Gold
Rend Trailer & Mo | RRoad Trailer & Mo

Directors Gavin Hood and Terry George have a lot in common. Both are international filmmakers who recently made their mark with Oscarlicious films (for Hood, it was his Best Foreign Language Film winner Tsotsi [TWS review] and for George, his thrice nominated Hotel Rwanda [TWS review]), and both are now faced with the mos daunting task of trying to ride that hot streak with the follow-ups to those films. Based on the 'heavy' material of their latest joints, it looks like the directors and the studios were hoping for return trips to the Academy Awards, but juss cause you strike gold once, doesn't make it easier the second time around

Hood's first big studio picture, Rendition, examines the hot button issue of US's torture interrogation practices outside of our borders. If this was the first film about the subject, maybe it would be eye opening, but it's not, and it's been done better before (see Winterbottom's Road to Guantanamo [TWS review] for the hottest hot button to button). While the film did keep my interest the entire time, I just didn't find it all that compelling as a whole. There's a subplot involving the missing daughter of one of these foreign torture helpers that seemed pointless, but when it comes full circle at the end, I actually wished that that subplot was the film's main plot. Instead, we're forced to care about American policy and bureaucracy and catching zzzzzzzzs. I think Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal showed up to the wrong movie set. While they share zero screen time together, I'm sure audiences would rather see them make kissy faces in some dumb rom-com than trying to question our gov-mints sometimes necessary dirty deeds. Lets hope Hood bounces back with his next studio system pic, the solo Wolverine flick

While Hood misses with his follow-up, George fares a lot better with Reservation Road. Looks like he wisely stole a page right from Todd Field's winning playbook, by tackling a novel about the darkness that can disrupt the quiet suburban life. The darkside goings on here deals with the blood on Mark Ruffalo's hands, after he accidentally kills Joaquin Phoenix (his best work since To Die For) and Jennifer Connelly's son with his car. After the tragedy, as the couple search for answers and the killer, Ruffies cowers into the shadows, and still has to deal with his everyday bs, like being divorced with limited visitation with his beloved son. While some of the twists and turns are a bit too coincidental, I was willing to give em a break cause everything was so well put together. R Road may not be as jarring as Field's In The Bedroom or Little Children [TWS review], but I'd rather explore this dreary street of America than the one Hood puts on display

A Boy No Longer In His Hood: director Hood is also a sometime actor, who has appeared in the MacGyver TV show Stargate SG-1

Road Movies: the next 'road' that screams Oscar is Sam Mendes' next jazzle, Revolutionary Road, which reunites his wife Kate with Leo for the 1st time since Thightanic

John Grisham's Jizzum (aka Verdict):
Rend = Sum Merit But Not Stinkin Badges
RRoad = Jeepers Worth A Peepers

until next thyme the balcony is clothed...