Well, I've been through another movie watching binge this week. Lately, it has occurred to me that though I work in a public library with thousands, upon thousands, of free movies at my command, I have been frittering my hard earned money away on Amazon Instant Rentals and a Hulu plus subscription! As much as I love the convenience of just clicking a button and having the latest Ethan Hawke horror movie right there at my fingertips, I'm endeavoring to do better and am checking out DVDs I've meant to watch from the (free! free! free!) NPL system. Monday, I watched the HBO movie Hemingway and Gellhorn, starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman as the titular characters.
|I love these expressions like "She said WHAT? ABOUT WHO?" (source)|
It's always interesting to me to watch biopics of famous people because even when they're bad (cough: Elvis and Me, cough), they're kind of good. Kind of good in the sense that I will watch them and enjoy them regardless of the quality, as long as it's just above godawful. In this one, Hemingway landing a marlin the size of Texas on his fishing boat in the first fifteen minutes of screentime, and Gellhorn parading around both Havana and war torn Spain in iconically derriere-clinging slacks, kind of sets the quasi-serious, quasi-shorthand tone of the movie, and I can't say I wasn't happy to watch the whole thing.
For an example of "what they got right", one of the neatest parts of the movie is Kaufman's choice to blend made-to-match new footage with of-the-time newsreel footage of the wars Hemingway and Gellhorn saw first hand, to embed the characters in pre-existing archival footage. I know it could have been a goofy, Forrest Gump-esque special effect, but it really works. I'd never noticed how static and impersonal historical newsreel footage looked to me until you're watching, say, this bombed out building and all these people milling around in the aftermath, and you see Nicole Kidman walking through it. You recognize her as being an actual person who you are personally invested in, and that makes the whole scene more meaningful. Isn't that weird? You can read more about how they accomplished these effects here (PS can I please be green screened into some movie premiere on the arm of Dana Andrews or Cary Grant? Ok, thanks).
|Real footage all around her, and Kidman in the center. Isn't that kind of magical? (source)|
Are you a Hemingway fan? Do you watch a lot of Hollywood biopics? If you saw the movie, what did you think about Owen and Kidman's performances? Seen any good recent releases lately? Am I dumb enough to watch a two and a half movie I didn't like much in the first place a SECOND time? Let's talk!
That's all for today kids! Get a gander at the trailer for this movie if you haven't seen it yet below. I'll see you all tomorrow!