Umm…like spoilers ahead and stuff so read with caution. Like not spoilers about how the movie ends, because, duh, we all know the Bible, but more of spoilers about how STUPID the movie is.
The following are word for word utterances from inside the movie theater whilst my brother and I watched Noah.
Behold, the literal word of The Schleicher Brothers:
About 3 minutes into the movie, I thus pondered, “What planet does this take place on?”
About 60 minutes into the movie, my brother sayeth unto me, “Oh Noah he didn’t!”
About 90 minutes into the movie, I spaketh, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa?”
About 110 minutes into the movie (upon the sight of the ark running into a rock), I cried to the heavenly ceiling fans, “Oh, gawd, it’s the Titanic now?!”
I have no idea who on earth would enjoy this movie. Spare for the great music score from Clint Mansell and some trippy dream/vision sequences of the impending flood, there’s nothing in this movie worth applauding unless you enjoy watching Oscar winners delivering laughably bad performances where everyone is growling or whisper-screaming in misplaced accents and half of the dialogue is unintelligible. Continue reading →
Cinema, the youngest of the great art forms, has wrestled in its time with defining its own archetypes. Some have been pilfered from other art forms…literature and theater and opera…your classic Oedipal complexes and hero-worship. But there is one archetype that has evolved into something purely cinematic. It’s been there from the earliest days. We saw it with Dreyer and Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc, a prototypical materializing of The Director orchestrating The Performance from The Actress. In its infancy, cinema gleaned from the religious. After its golden era of youth, as it settled into cynicism and postmodernism, it became more deranged. Polanski’s Repulsion…Bergman’s Persona…Altman’s 3 Women…Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. There have been seeds of it planted in horror as well…Argento’s Suspiria…De Palma’s Carrie.
We know the characters: The ingenue dying to land her first big role (Natalie Portman), the fallen star (Winona Ryder), the obsessive mother figure (Barbara Hershey), the psychotic director (Vincent Cassel) and the dark femalien foil to the ingenue (Mila Kunis). To play these parts…to choreograph this masturbatory madness…it’s become a cinematic rite of passage. Darren Aronofsky — impregnating the archetype with his own hang-ups — makes his film, his rite of passage about the achievement of perfection. He’s so comfortable with the archetype that the first spoken words of the film following a fade from black are, “I had the craziest dream last night.” He closes arrogantly with, “It’s perfection.” Fade to white.
Portman speaks both of these lines, and the transformation we witness in between…well…it’s the archetype as we’ve never quite seen it before. Everything we think we know about the archetype is spun seductively into the mind of The Actress! Her character and Aronofsky’s camera twirls like a ballerina out of control…but there’s nothing graceless or mad about The Performance. Portman has us just where she wants us. She is in complete control at all times. Never once did I think she lost herself. Continue reading →