Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Tale of Two Posters

I like how the American poster for Michael Hoffman's The Last Station plays up the duel romance notion of the film whereas the foreign version below uses the fact that Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer's characters spend 95% of the movie's running time at loggerheads with each other.


I'm not sure what that says about Americans, but maybe they prefer their older movie stars just as lovey-dovey as their young ones. I think the film's marketing would work better playing off the warring spouses aspect. Otherwise it just kinda looks like a strange inter-generational romantic comedy or something.

Speaking of The Last Station, I saw it yesterday and I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised. It's actually quite fantastic. I haven't the foggiest idea when it is being released here (and I believe it's one-week qualifying run in the USA has ended, only to be resurrected sometime in January), but I hope that whenever it gets out there people go and see it. A lot of people say Clint Eastwood has a very classical style of direction, but I'd put this film forward as being of a very old fashioned, classic style of film. It's not flashy, the camera doesn't shake about and do grandiose things that make people's eyes bug out of there head, no. It's simply made, but wonderfully so. It looks fabulous and I can see Michael Hoffman going somewhere far larger in scale with his next project and pulling it off with aplomb (it was the grieving scene towards films end that sealed that deal). I can see this film existing in any past decade, which means it should be a hit with "certain audiences", if you know what I mean.

Nobody lags in this film, both in front and behind the camera. Helen Mirren is as wonderful as you have heard and probably deserves that Academy Award nomination she's going to get in the unrealistic world of Oscar prognostication (meaning, the likes of Tilda Swinton, Katie Jarvis and Charlotte Gainsbourg aren't getting anywhere near Oscar so I can accept Mirren getting in over them) and the likes of James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff and Christopher Plummer are all ace. I didn't even mind Paul Giamatti, despite his character being a vile, retched beast! I'd also like to FYC the costume design by Monika Jacobs, which I think works wonders in evoking this period.

Sure, the actors all speak in English dialogue with English accents, but what can you do? I'm sure it would have been just as good in Russian, but it's not so there's no point crying about it like some puritans have and will continue to always do. B+

1 comment:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Wow. I'm actually surprised you like this. I am looking forward to it.

"being a vile, retched beast!" Complete with exclamation point. I guess he's really a "beast!"

The foreign is nicer seeing the angry oldies juxtaposed with the younger lovers. Of course it looks as if they're the parents of one of the young ones. Whatever. My sister saw a still for that laughing bedroom shot of Mirren and asked me if she was playing a lunatic.