Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Witness for the Prosecution

After hearing my uncle and Piccu rave about the movie so titled above, I managed to catch it on TV the other day. It is astonishing that the movie is so old and seemingly ahead of its time. It reminded me of what a good movie can be without nudity, bad language, and special effects. Especially, in a time that any of those three can virtually be the main point of a film.

Now, I understand the value of escapism in a movie experience, but I also see the beauty in a set of talented actors drawing you in with just words and filmed actions. Then getting the same enjoyment in seeing it again and again. Independent films provide the largest new pool of this type of cinema, Napoleon Dynamite is more entertaining evrytime I see it.

I do like to see a good explosion, every now and then, but if it's not surrounded by acting and a plot then no thanks. If you like movies that draw you in with the acting, then you need to see Closer. It is brillantly dialogued with powerful scenes containing only 4 characters. There is only one part of the film that more than two of them are interacting at once. The remainder is powerful one-on-one scenes, that while not making it a feel good movie, give amazing performances. There is also a scene in the movie Insomnia, where Pacino and Williams are having a conversation and the way it is shot and delivered makes you feel like the screen is just too small to fit them both at once. Closer is like that.

Back to the original point of this post; Witness to the Prosecution should be on the list of must-sees for any movie fanatic. It was very well done.

2 comments:

Trent said...

"It reminded me of what a good movie can be without nudity, bad language, and special effects... Now, I understand the value of escapism in a movie experience, but I also see the beauty in a set of talented actors drawing you in with just words and filmed actions."

I understand the sentiment, but you need to remember that film is an audiovisual art form distinct from theater. If you want to see good acting, and just good acting, go see a play. Great films surround great acting with great sounds and visuals (nudity and explosions included) you can't re-create on stage.

my_merlin77 said...

Point taken. Rereading my post, I think I am over-emphasizing the point that for me, a movie built around anything besides a solid plot delivered within the realm of suspension of disbelief is not meeting my criteria for a good film. However, I failed to make the point that appropriately utilizing all of those other things to compliment a solid plot takes the movie to a new level. One last thought; the converse that a movie with only those "essentials" can and often does carry it. Exceptions certainly do occur. Napoleon Dynamite has no point, but was entertaining nonetheless.