Well, Spuddy Buddy is spending a few days at The Farm (the abode of my grandparents), and while he has been gone we took the opportunity of going to see a couple of movies--
Phantom of the Opera
This was one of those wild, dazzling, bizarre, emotional movies that leaves you with a slight dizzy sensation. It is a powerful portrayal of two types of love-- real, unselfish love and demanding, possessive love. The juxtaposition of the two is the main strength of the story-- it leaves you with a wonderful and apt picture of the difference of selfish and undemanding love.
As far as production goes, the only fault is that it is at times a bit over the top-- every set is lavishly decorated, every scene is filled with drama. The movie would have been greatly benefited by a little editing. The cluttered sets sometimes smother the effect of the story, which itself is cluttered-- some of the plot twists seem unnecessary and forced. A few quieter, simpler scenes would have made the dramatic ones more powerful without effort. Other than that, this film is gorgeous.
The music is wonderful, although the transition from speaking to singing is sometimes a bit unnatural. It is performed well, and they picked a truly beautiful voice for Christine-- operatic, but not smotheringly so. Christine herself could not have been better cast-- I can't remember her name at the moment but she acts the part flawlessly and looks right too.
I can see why people love this movie. It has a lot going for it-- this is how drama like this should be done. It is a work of art. However, I am not a huge fan of highly dramatic art, and while I am glad I saw it and enjoyed it very much, it was a bit too wild and dark for my taste. That said, this is a good movie.
This is one of the more lovely, delightful movies I have seen in a long time. It is the story of how a friendship with a widowed mother and her four boys inspired J. M. Barrie to write Peter Pan, and is also a commentary on the power and joy of imagination. The title expresses is well-- it is about finding neverland, or finding joy.
My opinion of this movie is probably biased by the fact that it is exactly to my taste-- quiet, joyful, thoughtful, and Spudly. :-) Johnny Depp does a marvelous job, and also has a wonderful Scottish accent which of course makes him much more charming. Kate Winslet is also excellent, especially in the scenes where she is sick. She is better at acting sick than anyone else I can think of-- remember how wonderful she was as Marianne in Sense and Sensibility? She looks much older now than she did then, and although not as pretty has a wonderful face for acting. However, the little boy who plays Peter is the best-- he can not be more than seven, but he acts his part flawlessly and becomes his character more completely than I have ever seen a child that young do. He's amazing.
What really makes the movie, though, is seeing how the events of J. M. Barrie's life influenced the play-- unfortunately I can't tell you much about this without giving away one of the most delightful aspects of the film. I'll just say that watching the play and his life intertwine is incredible. This movie is imaginative, creative, playful, and bitter-sweet all at the same time-- it's the first movie in ages that made me cry. I loved and highly recommend it.