Cousin Bette Reviews
[font=Century Gothic]"Cousin Bette" is proof that a very good cast is no guarantee for a movie's quality, especially with miscasting as egregious as it is here. To start, it is hard to buy Jessica Lange as plain and unassuming. And Hugh Laurie is simply much too young for his part. These are the least of the flaws on display which include insufficient character development, broad caricatures and lackadaisical direction. The fragmented narrative which never truly comes together feels like there is quite a bit missing. All of which is a shame because there are some very witty moments and an intriguing setting on the cusp of the 1848 revolutions which rocked the French monarchy once and for all.[/font]
These last couple of days sum up every reason why I don't like winter.
I mean it, someday I'm moving out to the Pacific Northwest coast, where I will not have to deal with this winter crap every year.
At least I was finally able to catch a new episode of "Lost". I've been catching up on the reruns since I got home, and in combination with a few on-line recaps, I know pretty much what's going on, and the combination of the ROTK EE and this is leading to some serious Dom Monaghan love...moreso than usual. Which was a lot to begin with.
Ok, I'll stop rambling and just do some Netflix reviews:
[b]*Cousin Bette[/b] -- This movie, based on a novel by Balzac (although from what I've read, it's not that accurate), centers on the title character, played by Jessica Lange. She has always resented the favorment of her pretty sister, so once she dies and leaves her family in Bette's care -- her weak-willed husband Hector (Hugh Laurie), her naive, romantic daughter Hortense (Kelly MacDonald, aka That Pretty Scottish Girl From Trainspotting and Gosford Park), and her older, more sensible, married son -- Bette sets about to exact her revenge, with the help of a singer who is also Hector's mistress (Elisabeth Shue), the wealthy but crass mayor (Bob Hoskins), and a penniless artist named Wenseclas. It's hard not to side with Bette for the sheer fact that this family is utterly clueless to her schemes, however obvious they may be, but for that reason it makes her plots all the less satisfying. Nonetheless, Lange turns in a solid performance, and Hugh Laurie can do no wrong in my eyes, so I would deem this tolerable.
[b]*Seven Years In Tibet[/b] -- [i]Amazing[/i] cinematography. Too bad the story has to center on Brad Pitt's character, who is quite the self-centered asshole for the first half. He gets much more tolerable over the second half, which concerns his friendship with the young Dalai Lama and the invasion of Tibet, but Pitt never quite seems to fit into the role, like he's slightily in over his head acting-wise (which IMO he often is in his acting). David Thewlis, on the other hand, plays his far more reasonable and likeable companion and is just lovely for the first half of the movie. Unfortunately, he more or less dissappears in the second half, which is a shame because Thewlis (again, IMO) is just a far better and more interesting actor than Pitt can be most of the time.
Institutionalized Gender Oppression
And then I got so bored that I died and had to leave.