Features
Contact
AOL IM

2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film
Irreversible

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-213
-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-Chiragdshah
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinecultist
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-CinemaMinima
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinematix
-Cinema Toast
-Cinetrix
-Columbina
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
Cybersam
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmgurlland
-FilmingtonBlog
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Fluxblog
-Frank Booth
-Fringe
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-Greg.org
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-Harrylimetheme
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Indigoblog
-Ionarts
-Ishbadiddle
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Loebrich.org
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moovees.com
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-MovieBlog
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-Moviehead
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-MovieTawk
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Odeon
-Onethumbsideways
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-Popthoughts
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Rashomon
-Rawbrick.Net
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-Salocin.com
-SciFiDaily
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Shikaku
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Solipsist
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tofuhut
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Brothers
-Head On
-Moolade
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
-Topsy-Turvy
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
-Ossessione
-Sideways
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-Chicago
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles
-Sideways

Powered by Blogger Pro™



links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com



The Blog:
Saturday, April 13, 2002
 
Changing Lanes is one of the better ethical dramas in a while. What makes it so much more satisfying than it had any right to be is the ultimate respect Roger Michell has for his characters (with due respect to writers Taylor and Tolkin, who have fashioned a complex, intriguing script). Michell never once makes fun of his characters, never patronizes them or contrives things to put them through hell; he respects their flaws and intelligence, and therefore most mishaps and consequences come from their own responsibility, decisions, and luck. Gavin and Doyle are both deeply flawed men trying to walk the line between doing the right thing and doing what's best for themselves, which are often mutually exclusive tasks.

The film could have easily turned into some lame revenge flick where jerks did clever things to each other in a battle for one-upmanship. Instead, Michell steers his narrative down a very introverted path; as each decision that the two guys are faced with, the importance of their choice and the gravity of the consequences of that choice increases exponentially. When Gavin is finally at wit's end, his body noticeably slumps under the pressure and his voice cracks with fear -- I'd have to say, it's probably the best work I've ever seen Affleck do, but that ain't saying much. I think the guy pretty much sucks in everything, so to see him be competent here -- almost remarkable, is quite something. Jackson is weak early on; his whining on the FDR and in the courtroom is annoying. But he finds his footing when he becomes aggressive, and his scenes with William Hurt are exceptional.

I loved all the small ironies that exist throughout -- when a character finally decides to do the right thing, he is punished for it. When he does something wrong (like when Gavin lies), he gets rewarded (with a free yacht). At one point, committing a crime is the only way for Gavin to avoid going to jail. I loved the small performances -- Dylan Baker is tremendous as usual (early contender for Best Supporting Actor, even in such a small role), and Jackson's wife is quite striking. Hurt, Collette, and a surprising Amanda Peet are all good. Again, these performances -- including Sydney Pollock's amusing take -- are due to Michell giving them room to be human. No one in this film is remotely black or white, ethically (which is why I loved the subtlety of the racism angle), and even the "villains" have viable arguments. The photography is also damn good: the narrative is actually told as much through images as in action, such as blurry or dark character faces, subtle camera moves that reveal or suggest things that aren't spoken. When both of these struggling men find a way to take personal responsibility in the end, it's not just an obvious move -- as some condescending directors would make it. It's close to heroic: in a world where ethics are so shady that doing the right thing is completely relative, being nice to people and standing up for yourself takes balls.

I did find flaws in places; a few brief sequences needed a polish in pacing (I'm not nominating this editor for ANY awards; not only was the pacing off but some information was clearly ommitted and not for artistic reasons, while other points were made redundant), one situation (the second car crash) was very difficult to believe (too perfectly positioned), and Jackson takes almost too long to give us strong acting. Nevertheless, it's a really well directed and thoughtfully written essay on ethics, and like any good film it poses more questions than it answers.