Thursday, January 15, 2004

two amazing finds

charlize theron in monster. whatever you have heard is in no way exaggerated. it is worth it, honestly, for you to spend $8 and 2 hours of your life, watching one of the most depressing rape-victim serial killer movies you will ever see, because charlize theron is astonishing. she transcends the material. moreover, she makes christina ricci look like an amateur.

it doesn't even feel like acting. you get the sense watching ricci that she's agog not because her lover has become homicidal but because she's in the presence of a hurricane.

the movie gets extra props in my book for its hands-off approach to direction and pacing: nothing fancy or distracting, just straightforward unsentimental storytelling. the voiceover is the one exception to this but first time writer/directors can be forgiven for that.
it also gets props for not making a big deal about the love story which lies at the film's center. neither of the two women has been in a queer relationship before but neither goes through any sort of traumatic coming out. neither agonizes over self-perception. it's refreshing.

of course, the movie is as dark as you would expect from something called "monster." that leads us to the next great find:, a site which catelogues all the opinions that matter and presents them in an approachable way. i've been obsessed with their 2003 awards page since ben pointed me to it. the most honored films of the year are ROTK and lost in translation, my two personal favorites.

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