…and the quest to see everything

Posts tagged “Dianne Wiest

Blitz: Edward Scissorhands


I’ve seen the infamously hilarious water-bed scene in Edward Scissorhands in the 90′s, the rest of the film is just waiting. A decade later, the Box is showing Burton films. Yay!

ph. 20th Century Fox

Scissorhands. Willing suspension of disbelief. Opposites. Those two themes merging together. An old woman starts a fable about the origins of snow with Peg ‘Avon’ Boggs (Dianne Wiest), who gets turned away by all the housewives in her pastel painted 1950′s neighborhood. Remember when Burton films contained the vernacular? She  turns to another house to for a prospective client, and I’m thinking, why would any real estate whatchamacallit build a suburban development at the foot of a haunted Gothic mansion? Not a hater here. I’m not sure how aware Burton and his team were of how implausible this is but Bo Welch’s set direction makes the juxtaposition of the old and the new jarring and noticeable.

Of course Burton makes sure that Peg’s just as weird as Edward (Johnny Depp), telling him that she can give him astringent for his scars. Now, we’re looking for Edward’s double, and Peg at this stage of the story is a decent candidate because she’s just as much of an outsider as he is, and inviting Edward home will highlight the tensions between her and the neighborhood. The rest of the film are comprised of either Edward being looked at or looking, but it’s more interesting is when both the observer and the subject are closer.

The rest of the film is the neighbors fawning over Edward and his talents that the audience knows and waits for him to do something and for the neighborhood to hate him, the characters thus bowing to the oldest story in the book. Instead of montage-y progression from love to hate, Burton lets Edward interact with the family and with the housewives, showing us humanity before and during hard times.

Let’s go back earlier where the camera moves through a miniature version of the neighborhood – I like it too, kids, don’t accuse me of snarking – at night, covered in snow to eventually show the mansion. Here the difference between the two areas are less striking. Edward has created something to remind himself and beloved Kim (Winona Ryder) that the two worlds can look the same, even if those two worlds, or the two of them, can’t be together.

Today is probably the last day to catch Edward Scissorhands at the Box at 4:15, 6:50 and 9:30.


Trailer: Rabbit Hole


ph. Lionsgate

Never noticed this shot before. I also just noticed how it’s always in darkly lit places where Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) meditate on their loss. I don’t know how I notice stuff in two minutes’ footage instead of two hours of a complete film. Don’t know if that’s a good sign or not.

ETA: I also noticed how Jason (Miles Teller) has this confidence within him. The scene shown in the trailer is one of the later ones, which contrasts from his earlier scenes where he’s the archetypal awkward teenager. It’s as if Jason grows up as the movie progresses.

Brad Brevet posted the trailer on his website yesterday. And I don’t care if it breaks my rules of rewatching films, but I will watch this movie again. December 17, guys. ETA: trailer from MovieReel


TIFF: Rabbit Hole


In John Cameron Mitchell‘s adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire Pulitzer winning Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman plays perfect modern wife Becca Corbett, and the film can serve as a primer for what Kidman can do. In describing Becca, the people in her life – her husband Howie (Aaron Eckhart – not a good yeller) her mother Nat (Dianne Wiest), her sister Izzie, Jason, the people in her God-fearing support group – would give different answers. The audience can watch Becca pretend to be normal as she does her chores. You can also watch her giddily hopping down the streets of Manhattan in high heels as she goes back to her old turf at Sotheby’s. And almost get turned on by Al Green. And make drug jokes. And cry while watching teenager Jason be driven off to prom.

ph. TIFF

Abaire re-imagines the characters in his play. Becca, Howie and Nat are intact, he waters down Izzie’s confrontational trashiness while Auggie and Howie’s SPOILER alleged mistress (Sandra Oh) END SPOILER appears in the film. Like Becca and the principal characters in her life, the film never reuses the same emotion or depicts every scene in the same way. Sometimes the cloud hanging above Becca and Howie, perceived by others, lifts and humour finds its way into their natural conversations. Rabbit Hole, shot colourfully without being too artificial, is not one of those movies that try to change your life. However, it can change the way one thinks of emotion and the permanence of one’s loss. 4.5/5.


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