Thursday, January 18, 2007


All movies all the time! Seems like lately.

VOLVER is a return to the Almodovar of WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, the first film of his I fell in love with. Everyone in the cast of both films—and some are in both—gives great performance.

Penelope Cruz seems too glamorous for the role at first, even with the extra padding—which to my taste makes her much more appealing—but she does such a great job she ends up owning the role and convincing me completely.

Great story, great cast, great directing, great fun. Don’t miss it. And on the big screen, to see Almodovar’s usual unique use of color and sets and the edges of the screen.

DREAMGIRLS is also excellently acted.

Jennifer Hudson is certainly the Hollywood story of the year, going from being kicked off American Idol, as I understand it, two years ago for being too fat, to playing a character in this movie who suffers the same fate, but survives it in spades, so to speak, and triumphs, much as she did the other night accepting a Golden Globe for acting only two years after what could have been the end of anyone else’s career.

It’s a must see on the big screen though, because the production numbers, especially her showstopper, are too over-the-top-live-stage-or-church-Gospel-choir BIG for any TV screen.

Jamie Foxx is also terrific in this, as is the third member of the DREAMGIRLS—Anika Noni Rose—who I understand, from my friend Jamie Rose, won a Tony for a Broadway role not long ago, but is almost overshadowed in this by all the high powered movie stars and super star Beyonce—to be singled out for what is a perfect rendition of the arc of her character’s life, from scatter-brained teenage girl to self-reliant grown woman.

And Eddie Murphy’s performance displays not only his usual versatility, which here includes singing, and in different styles, but also has his most realistic acting moment, in a simple reaction shot of his face as he responds to entreaties for his character to not start “slamming”—as we used to call it.

Both these movies are totally worth seeing, and on the big screen.


Reel Fanatic said...

I couldn't agree with you more about these two fantastic flicks .. Although Volver does get off to a bumpy start, by the time it's just those two great actresses alone on the park bench it's easily one of the most powerful scenes of this year and many others

Anonymous said...

If you want to see another fantastic performer, go to and search for "Jennifer Holliday Tony performance." Stunning