Director:Wong Kar Wai
Stars : Norah Jones, Jude Law and Natalie Portman
Country: Hong Kong/France
A young woman takes a soul-searching journey across America to resolve her questions about love while encountering a series of offbeat characters along the way.
I've been meaning to watch My Blueberry Nights ever since it was released last year in the UK. It's another one of those films that I have ben meaning to watch, mainly based on the fact that I am such a huge Wong Kar Wai fan. Unfortunatly I was a tad disappointed with the film.
My Blueberry Nights, is Wong Kar Wai's first english language film and I have to say that the transition is not quite there. For me the films that he's done are close to perfection. This film seems to be missing something. The script is something which bothered me a lot. There seems to be a lot reptition in the lines, in the sense that I'm sure Kar-Wai has used similar lines before. Most of the time I found myself wondering what was the point in saying that or where's the justification in that?! This was mainly in many of the scenes with Jude Law and Norah Jones.
Without the cinematography of Christopher Doyle, who worked with Kar-Wai on many of his previous films-however that doesn't affect the film. The Cinemaography in this film is what keeps the film going. With the bright lights on a sweeping scale it adds some energy into what is a little underwhelming plot. This is something that doesn't ocur often in Kar-Wai's film. Perhaps, having seen the majority of his films that's the viewpoint I'm coming from.
Casting in this film, is reasonable, but perhaps not to the standard, many fans of his are used to. With the likes of Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau and the lengedry Ton Leung Chi Wai, his films somehow feel complete. Without them something is gravely missing. The casting of singer Norah Jones is without a doubt one of the worst castings in cinema history. How she was cast, I don't know, as she seemed to take a back seat in the film. Being the in the lead role, she was outclassed by the likes of Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman in every scene that she was with them. With a very wooden performance, the film just lacked any personlity with the scenes that she was in. The main problem is that you just don't care about her character and couldn't care less about her soul searching journey across America. Jones didn't seem to have much chemistry with Jude Law either and this was evident in the pretyt dull opening sequence. A worthy mention, though to Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman and David Straitham. All three livened up the screen with every scene that they were in. I found myself caring about Straitham's character and Portman's. Portman, in particular, who gave off a great performance, put sadly couldn't save the already average film.
Kar-Wai still directs well but delivers a couple of freeze frame shots which didn't seem to be justified at all. Some of which annoyed me a lot, mainly because I've seen it all before. However with the entrance of Rachel Weisz it did work. Still unclear as to the point of the last shot at the end of the film. Maybe I might find out after a second viewing.
Overall, from a Kar-Wai fan perspective, My Blueberry Nights is very underwhelming film that just isn't up to the standard of his earlier films. If you haven't seen his other films, and have only seen this one, please go and check them out tnow as they are far superior.