Dulled Gold (Film Thoughts: The Goldfinch)

goldfinchI used to be such  voracious reader, and in some ways I still am, but now through online and social media. An older version of me would probably have devoured Donna Trtt’s novel ‘The Goldfinch,’ but I have to confess I have not read it – the 800 or so page count really felt daunting to me. So here we are with the film version, and I wish I could do one of those side by side comparisons on how the book was treated, but I can only go through a point of view of knowing very little about the story.

And I didn’t mind the film. I am sure it was probably most difficult to translate the text, but I thought John Crowley’s film flowed well, and for the most part told a story that appealed to me. I couldn’t help but see some parallels in my life (moving from New York to Las Vegas, for example) and I thought that for the most part this is one of those New York City stories – I feel like I know and have known these people. As the young Theodore, I was most impressed by Oakes Fegley, who showed great range. Ansel Elgort is wonderful to look at for sure, but I felt Theodore became less interesting once he took over the role. Also, I think I might have liked it even better if the movie had played that interpretation of Theodore and Boris having (romantic) love for each other, but maybe that’s just my Ansel projection. All in all, not as bad as some people say, though admittedly imperfect.

Baby You Can Drive My Car (Film Thoughts: Baby Driver)

baby-driver-poster-4I seem to be one of the last people in the world to see ‘Baby Driver,’ and so much has been written about it by its fans. And here I am , little old me, with my opinion. I liked it – a lot. Or maybe, there’s a lot of things about I like. The car chases of course, even though normally not my thing, truly mesmerized me. How do they do those, I mean, cinematic magic at its best. Stylistically, this is probably the most impressive I have seen this year. And it is perfectly cast: Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx. And my dear dear Ansel Elgort, cute as ever. he really doesn’t do that much heavy lifting here, but you also can see that he has great acting instincts here – from how he cocks his sunglasses as well as the physicality required  – sometimes when he is running it looks like he is gliding.

But there is also that thing in me that wanted a story. Yes, Baby (Elgort) has a bit of a back story but really, there’s nothing here – just a bunch of bank heist scenes to make sense of all the car chases. Sometimes I ask myself – is a movie with a bad story better than one without one? But perhaps I am not the target market for this kind of film making.

Still, I have to admit that I truly enjoyed watching this film. It’s dazzling, full of color, and edited perfectly for maximum suspense. I don’t know if I will ever see it again, but then again there’s the lure of Ansel.