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

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-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
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-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)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-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
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-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
-Head On
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
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-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

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Monday, September 06, 2004

Wicker Park

At a certain point in the day, the afternoon sunlight comes streaming through the blinds in my apartment, striking my television screen and making it all but unwatchable. Well, I watched a lot of DVDs today (All About Lily Chou-Chou, Gonin, and A Band Apart for instance), and late in the afternoon, I found myself faced with an unwatchable TV screen. What to do? Why go to the movies. However, I was faced with an unenviable choice. Which movie with middling reviews would I go see? Vanity Fair? Open Water? Wicker Park? Hmm, well Wicker Park, an English-language remake of the 1996 French film L’Appartement, is directed by Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1 and The Reckoning) and co-stars my current on-screen crush, Rose Byrne, so Wicker Park it was.

Well, it wasn’t Citizen Kane, but Wicker Park was a fairly entertaining experience. For one thing, its really nothing like the commercials, which are designed to evoke such glossy, early 90s thrillers such as Single White Female or The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, but surprise, surprise, Wicker Park is barely even a thriller and Byrne’s character, despite several choice moments featured in the trailer (which are actually taken out of context), is not a psycho (well, not really). Wicker Park is actually a fairly old-fashioned romantic, melodrama. Its one of those films where the plot is nothing but a contrived series of coincidences, but the screenplay works so hard to cover all the bases (and I mean all the bases, what with the many flashbacks filling in all the backstory, over and over again, from different perspectives each time) that the rational response of “that’s fucking impossible!” is morphed into something along the lines of “aww, that’s nice.” And McGuigan directs the hell out of the film, artsying up this relatively old-fashioned, pop melodrama with moody cinematography, slow-motion shots, freeze-frames coupled with zooms, and digital superimpositions for no discernible point. However, Chicago in the winter looks appropriately cold, really cold.

Wicker Park is actually a reunion of sorts, featuring both of the female, romantic leads from Troy, charisma-free but beautiful Diane Kruger and cute as a button Rose Byrne, who vie for the affections of up and coming advertising executive Josh Hartnett. An obsession with his first love, Lisa (Kruger), never ceased after she disappeared two years previously, and a fleeting glance of a woman in a bar, who may or may not be Lisa, is enough to propel Hartnett’s character on a wintry quest to find his true love, not to mention to blow off both his job and potential fiancee. Aided by old friend, and shoe salesman, Matthew Lillard, Hartnett eventually finds “Lisa,” but it turns out to be another woman all together (Byrne). The film enters semi-Vertigo territory, both when Hartnett begins to fall for the new woman, and when the screenplay starts providing extensive details via flashback halfway through the film, setting up a bit of Hitchcockian tension as we wait for Hartnett to discover the truth.

Perhaps inspired by Hitchcock, the film eschews standard generic conventions and does not go on autopilot, playing up the soapier, romantic aspects of the film, and making Byrne’s character, who could have been just a stock psychotic, much more sympathetic, even contrite. Also refreshing is the lack of violence, you know, except for the emotional kind. While not exactly a good film per se (most people, would consider Wicker Park a “guilty pleasure” but I hate that term), it is constantly watchable and entertaining, and even surprising in some respects. At least worth watching on cable or DVD.