Tuesday, December 09, 2008

down in the valley (jacobson, 2005)

Common thread that runs through Edward Norton's choices as an actor: aw-shucks or dweeby Everyguys with explosive passions inscribed by psychological, emotional, or (in the case of the Hulk movie) physical instability. Started as early as Primal Fear (Hoblit, 1996). Does actor view himself as fascinating without such energy manically spent on inner/outer eruptions? Could he be the inspector in The Illusionist, for example?

Yet his longing for the screwball blondie princess is so palpable in Keeping the Faith, and as director he drew from Jenna Elfman an irresistible object of obsession/adoration for maybe the first and last time in cinema history. Directing himself, others? In broad, sometimes clumsy strokes, yet delivering the message minimal irony/dumbshow.

Jacobson's film features oppressive heat and oppressive "small-town" prejudice (actually it's one Dad, but he might as well be a town), and sometimes in movies there's such a thing as: two of something is two too many. Can't a movie just be about sticky heat and getting in trouble without a lot of long-faced bullshit plotting? I long for Lucretia Martel's La CiƩnaga (2001).

No comments: