Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Calm movies not to be missed...

First let me explain what I mean by "calm" movies - movies where there is no huge swells of music to disguise long actions sequences, OR where the dialogue and character changes are the most notable elements, OR where the actors are strong enough to pull off acting in silence. Two examples that can't be missed are The Painted Veil (2006) and The Station Agent (2003) - I saw them both recently and their quality struck me as similar though the movies couldn't be more different. Age before beauty, The Station Agent follows a dwarf (playing brilliantly by Peter Dinklage) moving to a defunct train station he inherited and meeting some of the townspeople, including Bobby Cannavale (Will's cop boyfriend from Will & Grace) for humorous friendship and Patricia Clarkson, a woman suffering the loss of her son and her marriage. The three of them form a fun little friendship, full of train watching, cooking, and talking. It's not a sad movie, it's actually very uplifting in a simple way. In contrast, A Painted Veil is heartbreaking in the best way. Edward Norton is wonderful as a '20s bacteriologist studying cholera in China who brings his cheating wife with him to an outbreak. They spend a lot of time seeing each other through stranger's eyes, and start falling in love. It's not a huge movie, there's little music swelling, and not too many scenes of sweeping scenery, but still tells a wonderfully romantic story. If you can think of a better description for movies like this, other than calm, please help me out!

2 comments:

Liz said...

The station agent is such a beautiful movie... did you know the part was not written for a little person, but the actor's audition convinced them otherwise? Coolness.

Jess said...

Wow - that is awesome! I was so enamoured by him watching this film, and he's not particularly likeable, nor particularly handsome, but has an amazingly watchable quality, and not for his size. Thanks for letting me know!