Joy (cithra) wrote,

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Chez Fou: again with the movies

Watched Deceiver and Trees Lounge last night. I recommend Deceiver whole-heartedly, but Trees Lounge left me unmoved. Sadness - I like Steve Buscemi a lot, I wanted to like his film more than I did.

Trees Lounge was really a little disappointing. It's not a good sign when I find myself thinking "Hasn't it been 70 minutes yet?" - granted, IMDB lists the runtime as 95 minutes (vs. what was on the DVD jacket) but it just seemed to drag in spots. Maybe that was deliberate; maybe the pacing was supposed to convey just how pointless the protagonist's life really was, but... I suspect as well that I was expecting to find Tommy (Buscemi's character, the lead) a little more sympathetic that I ultimately did. I come away from movies like this not thinking "wow, I'm glad my life isn't like that!" (which I suspect is why they keep getting made or are popular), but thinking "wow, the sooner humanity wipes itself off this planet, the better off the biosphere will be." Or maybe it's just Long Island...

Deceiver, on the other hand, I really enjoyed - and I wasn't certain I was going to, as I have come to recognize that I don't always connect with films lacking characters with which I have sympathy (not quite the same as lacking in sympathetic characters, actually). [See above, it was almost certainly a factor there.] I rented it simply on the strength of Tim Roth's presence, not knowing a thing about it other than that, really. When it showed up I noticed Renee Zellweger had the female lead, which was another plus.

It's a delightfully complex little piece, with all the tropes of the genre from the hard-boiled cop with dirty secrets to the hooker with a heart of gold - yet if you've never seen a noir film before in your life it holds up perfectly; I only started making the archetypical connections after poking around on IMDb and seeing it called "90s noir". Roth is of course a joy to watch, and his isn't exactly a simple role: there are facets on the facets. All the actors are good, for all of that - plus there is some genuinely interesting camera work as well. I find myself thinking I may try to track down the Grave, the other film IMDb lists by the brothers Pate.

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