It is hard enough for me to properly criticize the work of my favorite filmmakers, let alone amidst the frenzy of the Cannes Film Festival. (I usually have to see Almodovar’s films twice in Cannes to make sense of how I feel about them). So its been tough to respond to friends and colleagues who have asked me my thoughts on Wong Kar Wai‘s “My Blueberry Nights,” which I saw this morning…
I suppose my reluctance to verbalize my reaction to the film comes from being a bit disappointed. The thing is, and maybe this is an excuse, I found it extremely difficult to watch a WKW film in English. It looks and sounds exactly like a Wong Kar Wai movie, but hearing the actors speaking in English (particularly in voiceover) was messing with my head.
Perhaps in some ways it makes the story seem more shallow. Maybe the exotic nature of a foreign language adds a level of depth that I wasn’t properly accounting for. That said, Norah Jones is very good in her acting debut and the film looks amazing. WKW has captured New York City in a way that I dont thnk I have ever seen before, capturing the colors of the city in a really special way… its stunning to look at.
Maybe the story is just not “complex” enough for me. When I saw “2046” here in Cannes, I was confused and excited. This one is more straightforward, but still solid. And hearing Wong talk about it at the press conference added a bit of the complexity that I was hoping for. Again, its really hard for me to criticize one of my favorite filmmakers. I need to go see it again!
Pictured: Norah Jones, Wong Kar Wai and Jude Law at today’s press conference, as moderator Henri Behar tries to ask the photographers to take their seats.
[photo by eugene hernandez]