Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Ninth Gate (1999)

I really LOVE watching hollywoodian actors in Europe! And 'The Ninth Gate' is one of them. You will see Johnny Depp as a book dealer. One day, a wealthy book collector asks him to authenticate an ancient satanic book of him. For this, he has to visit the owners of the two other copies that reside in Europe. There the journey starts! He goes to Portugal and France to see the owners of the other books.
The story goes a little mysterious here; however I wish they didn’t use this song which interrupts the movie from time to time, mostly in the second half and takes the movie from seriousness to a comedy level, makes it look like a cheap thriller...
I find the story nice, photography not too bad (especially I enjoyed short Portuguese shots). However, the movie lasts two hours which is too long and loses its excitement through the end. Also, the special effects are not good at all.
Johnny Depp carries his character successfully; however I cannot say the same thing for Emmanuelle Seigner (wife of Roman Polanski). Maybe it is the language to blame that it seems bizarre when she speaks or maybe she tried to give a mystic side to the character that she performs…
Another good thing in the movie is Lena Olin. I admire her beauty and I think she’s one of the very successful actors. I’ve seen her in an '88 movie, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, along with Daniel Day-Lewis and Juliette Binoche and in The Reader (2008). Her performances are fascinating and so realistic.
I love the scenes where Depp speaks in French. In one of them, he talks to a baker:

Depp : Nous cherchons la maison de Mme st-martin.
Baker : Le château vous voulez dire?
Depp : Où est le château?

or with a restaurant owner
Depp : Mme! (showing the address at the back of a cardpostal) C'est où ça?
The Ninth Gate is one of those “cup of tea” movies, might go well at a boring snowy/rainy weekend when you don’t have anything to do, you can waste your two hours to see some holywoodians in Europe ;)


Coen Brothers - Fargo (1996)

Fargo is definitely one of my favorite movies. It’s a cult movie, one of everybody’s favorite. A crime-comedy of Coen Brothers, produced, written and directed by them. They are also within my favorite directors list. Even there is not much to say about their cinematography, after watching Fargo third time; I thought it is the right time to write about it.
Fargo is a combination of a great plot, memorable characters, nice soundtrack, exaggerated accents of North Dakota and Minnesota regions and snowy landscapes... The first part of the movie is like giving background information about the story: who is who, personalities of the characters, the cruel weather conditions of Minnesota and its freezing abandoned landscapes.

The second part of the movie, the part I love, starts with the appearance of Frances McDormand as the pregnant police officer who has to investigate the crimes.Frances McDormand is an astonishing actress and also got the Best Actress Academy Award for this role. She is also the wife of the director, Joel Coen. Once, when it is asked on how she got the role in this movie, she answers “The fact that I'm sleeping with the director may have something to do with it.” :) I saw her in other movies of Coen’s. In either way, she is a very successful character actress. She knows how to blend herself with the character realistically. Also, there is this consistency of the actors Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare. I can’t think of any better combination of these two actors to replace the two outlaw criminals.
Fargo doesn’t disappoint the usual expectations from a Coen movie. Everything, all of a sudden, goes in a terribly complicated way :)
And white images of the region saturate the screen with its melancholic and cruel music.
Fargo is a special, well written, well shot, virtually satisfying movie. Don’t miss it ! ;)