January 01, 2011
I watched the film on DirecTV theater in 1080p last night, as beautiful as a Blu-ray disc but at $5.99 about a quarter of the price.
Such an odd experience it was, seeing as from the get-go it was clear the movie was kind of fast forwarding through the story in order to get the high points in within the allotted 105 minutes.
But for once I didn't mind that so much of what made the book a deliberate, thoughtful read was omitted, because as each scene appeared on screen it evoked my emotions and thoughts at the time I was reading the events depicted, and it was as if the movie was enhanced by what my memories brought to it, making it all that much better than if I'd read the book years instead of a couple months ago, in which case I'd have long since forgotten my reactions while reading it.
This is the first time I've had this kind of palimpsest of movie over book and I can't wait to see if it happens again.
Now to the movie itself.
George Clooney is routinely excellent as he's been in everything I've seen him in in recent years.
The supporting cast, none of whom I recalled seeing previously in other roles, was uniformly fine, and Italy — gorgeous Italy — showed itself to considerable advantage as a result of wonderful cinematography and direction.
Though given the choice between the book and the movie, I'd go with the book by a mile.
Having said that, though, if you're not the book type the movie on its own is taut and absorbing, though kind of confusing because of all the loose ends that simply couldn't be tied up within the temporal constraints of the medium.
Just watch and don't try too hard to have things make sense while it's playing; save that for later.
January 1, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink
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