Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No user info supplied.
Loves of a Blonde is the story of Andula, a (blonde) girl who lives in the Czech countryside in the 60s. In her village, there are sixteen women for every one man, and from the very beginning her desire to experience romance is latent. She has a boyfriend she doesn't really like that much, but she idealizes him in her stories to convince herself that she is happy with her circumstances.
One day a division of soldiers arrives in town, to the joy of the women, and a dance is organized as a massive match-making event; however, Andula's eye is caught by a younger, much better-looking pianist from Prague. What follows is a closely-shot, intimate tale of inhibition, seduction, hope and deception. I had the feeling that Forman's point was to show that such all-encompassing words can be easily contained in a few day-to-day episodes in the lives of a girl and a boy.
The film is an examination of the process of "sentimental education": it involves pleasure and pain, caution and surrender. Andula and Mila (the boy) have an ambiguous, short-lived relationship that each of them perceives in a different way, and which means different things to each. Although many other characters get screen time, the focus is on Andula: her desires, her expectations, then her encounter with reality; the difference between her idea of love and what love is "in practice". All these things are told and shown in a lovely, evocative way, through beautiful cinematography and situations that go from being absurdly funny to sad and sometimes cruel.
The most remarkable thing about Loves of a Blondeis the empathy that it succeeds at raising through Hana Brejchovás' portrayal of a girl coming to terms with her urges and their implications, as well as the rest of the candid performances (I remember reading most of them were non-actors) and dialogue. It also boasts an unforgettable "bedroom" scene that has all the warmth and charm of Godard's vignettes in Une Femme Mariée but which manages to keep an awkward and fragile mood at the same time. I'm not sure of how to compare it to Forman's later, much more famous work, but it is definitely haunting, involving, and very obviously written from the heart.
Ed Harris does the unimaginable to save this film. I believe Agnieszka Holland was intelligent to have chosen to develop only so much of Beethoven's life, instead of stuffing it all into one film (she chose the time during which he premiered the Ninth Symphony); still, the film has some very serious flaws: Diane Kruger as a feminist aspiring composer who works as Beethoven's unlikely copyist: miscast. Dizzying "experimental" hand-held camera work. Rather superficial, anachronical storyline... the script does have a few clever moments, though, some phrases Beethoven delivers are wonderful, but the rest pretty much fall into cliché. What is most angering is that it could have functioned perfectly: a great lead actor, much greater source material, spot-on period art direction... and yet again, the fault is of the substance. It's a real shame. The writers came up with a blatantly fictionalized account of the composer's later days, in which he becomes emotionally involved -more like emotionally connected- with a promising composer who becomes his copyist and then his nurse, cleaning lady, and friend. We all know about other fictionalized biopics like Amadeus, films that distort the truth. The thing is that Amadeus made me swallow its story, shoved it down my throat and got me involved: what it showed, I considered it as true as anything else on celluloid. CB seems unsure... it's just so obvious that it's false! And that's not good. If they don't buy it, how could I? It's hard to explain. I believed every word Ed Harris spoke in the same way I'm sure a lot of people felt involved with F. Murray Abraham in Milos Forman's film. But all the other characters, just... the situations, everything, seemed so made of cardboard, so... fictional. It's hard to explain.
I don't mean Copying Beethoven is unwatchable, there is one particular scene in which it's all about the music... it plays rather like a music video, but it's fantastic, epic, and one can only wish that the rest of the film was that good. It's an inspired, electrifying ode to the symphony itself... and all I could really think about as I watched it was Alex De Large on his bed, and the snake by his side, and his face... Lovely lovely Ludwig Van! lol. Unfortunately, it seems to me that the film suffered a great deal from having such an exciting scene right in the middle of it, because the dull parts that came later looked even worse. If only they could cut that scene out and market it as a short film... they would have received much better reviews, and they would have said all they appeared to want to say.
Perfectly adequate period film, with a brilliant characterization by Colin Firth as King George VI. It is very well paced, has a lovely score by Alexandre Desplat, and excellent supporting performances by Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush. I think only time will determine its relevance as a "piece of cinematic history", but in the meantime I can appreciate it as a touching drama about a human being overcoming his insecurities and impediments as he simultaneously takes on, literally, the weight of an Empire. Colin Firth completely carries the emotional power of the film and succeeds wonderfully. So, although perhaps we will eventually forget The King's Speech for its talented yet just adequate filmmaking style (which it shares with no few other Oscar winning films), I will personally have a hard time ever forgetting Mr. Firth in character, as he trembles and cries to his wife: "I am not a King! I am not a King!"