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:
Friday, October 08, 2004
From the 42nd New York Film Festival: Or

Its English title named after its lead, Or, an Israeli working teenager responsible beyond her years (Dana Ivgi), but with the alternate title Mon Trésor (“My Treasure”), Keren Yedaya’s film immediately points to its central concern: the taut, dependent relationship Or’s passive, infantile mother Ruthie (Ronit Elkabetz) has with her caring, overburdened daughter.

Or is Ruthie’s treasure, and by that she means that Or, with remarkable patience and perseverance for a girl her age, dotes on her mother as she would a child, and attempts to guide Ruthie’s life away from her habitual profession as a cheap street prostitute. Or has to juggle caring for her mother and school at the same time as working as a dishwasher to provide the family’s income. Pulling some strings with her friends, Or is able to get her mother a job as a housecleaner, which brings in a steady income but one substantially lower than tricking. The draw of the street to Ruthie seems something more than money, and her infantile and passive behavior points towards a pathological routine that to recover from requires the kind of undue attention that Or cannot provide.

Burdened with the responsibilities of a working single mother at the same time as faced with the usual teenage turmoil of high school (studying, boys, self-esteem, self-identity, etc.), Or’s amazing stand of confidence in her ability to care for her mother and maintain her lifestyle gradually erodes as her mother continually falls into past patterns of relying on the street for quick and easy money. Towards the beginning of the film, after work and on her way home, Or stops off to bum a smoke and talk to what appears to be some male friends. She and a youth pair off and go make out in the shadow of an alley. What initially looks like a moment of brief reckless passion and a return to teenage motivations sadly foreshadows the slow downslide of life and morality that Or’s mother’s dependence on “her treasure” will entail.

Keren Yedaya’s film is spare, effective, and an aesthetically consistant debut which reiterates, or, in harsher terms, provides a mere variation on, a well-worn story. With two stunning lead performances the best thing that can be said about Or is that it is extremely watchable. This is despite the fact that from the first ten minutes on Yedaya sets up her film’s situation so thoroughly that Or contains not a single surprise, narrative or thematic. With Elkabetz’s tragically passive bi-polar performance and Ivgi’s plucky, reticent this-is-just-a-matter-of-the-course attitude, the leads balance each other out in a way that, though one knows what will happen in a given scene, one still wants to watch the actresses to see what they do with it. Yedaya’s single-camera setups cast a sad sympathy for Or’s character, relegating to the cramped spaces, and the corners of the frame. Though systematic, this aesthetic system does not provide a fresh take on the material any more than the performances, however immersive, make Or’s narrative one of originality.

There is, however, one large ambiguity in the film, intended or not, which provides an on-going glimmer of interest. Though Or clearly has a profound love for her mother, her mother’s feeble returned affection casts doubt on the position her daughter occupies in her life. Is Or truly Ruthie’s treasure? The journey Or begins to take at the end of the film-a paramount assumption of responsibility that at the same time degrades her life and her morals-suggests she may one day have the passive hardness of her mother. The only fresh thing in Or is a true tragedy-calling into question the ability to see love in another.