My Blueberry Nights Reviews
Jude Law in this movie is, well, Jude Law. He is the same charismatic, slightly scruffy (but in the sexy unkempt way) englishman he plays so well in most movies. So no surprises or disppointments there. He plays his role as a small cafe owener in Brooklyn (presumably) nobly. it is however, Rachel Weisz that will shock you. The 'english rose' really took it to the next level. She plays a texan woman who is separated from her alcoholic cop-husband. The cougar belle of the town, she portrays some of her best (or her very best to date) acting whence her husband dies. It is predictable drama, old rugged lines the unhappy wife says when her husband dies and the usual 'telling the stranger the story of their marriage/relationship while looking in the distance' but it is done splendidly. Weisz stays true to her character and the slight melodrama it needs but also saves it from becoming another shallow unhappy housewife. Portamn, additionally, does not disappoint as the cocky and wise gambler. While the characters are very cliche, their portrayal is somehow the opposite. Definitely would not have thought Portman to do the role: it fits someone more along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Nicole Kidman but Portman does it equally well.
It is Chinese director Wong Kar Wai's first feature film in English and he brings with him all that is needed as a newcomer: the ambition to make the film different, to stick to a predictable genre like romance and the big screen names that make viewers want to watch an uncertain debut. For someone who is known in Hong Kong for martial arts films, My Blueberry Nights is fantastic to try something new. His next film, if he does make another English one, will be much awaited and even better than this one. That I am willing to gamble on. How many movies from Hollywood do you remember for their music or even remember it? This film brings that unique element we had all forgotten about. The music is mesmerising and well thought of. That is what is ultimately so fresh about it. It does not leave behind anything or forget something. It is thorough and Wong respects the film industry in a very commendable way by doing that. Watch it with your mother, your good friend or your sister. But watch it with someone who is in the mood for a film.
The lighting and scenes are pretty, it really is beautifully shot.
What lets it down is the script and the story. It is just not enough. And Jude Law is absolutely horrible in this. People blame Norah Jones as being the weak link who can't carry the film, but really she's fine. Understated, but I think the character is meant to be. Jude, on the other hand, is hammy and can't look at him without thinking he's sleazy and wouldn't actually want to see him get together with Norah's character (this of course could be due to his well known personal issues), but he does actually look grotty here.
The supporting characters have more to work with and actually did care about their stories.
It's a shame as the potential and cast (Jude aside) actually was there in this one, but it just doesn't quite work as a whole.