Ken Loach‘s film Route Irish seems meditative for its 110 minute run. Every detail of Fergus’ own investigation of his best friend and coworker Frank’s so-called accidental death in Iraq is treated as a cold fact. There’s minimal non-diagetic music in the film, and Fergus’ eyes don’t light up when he sees a video or hears a statement that helps him piece the events together. He doesn’t ponder over any paper clippings posted on his minimal apartment walls. And scenes that accelerate his knowledge of the Frankie’s death is carefully paired with other scenes that show that he has a life outside of it. He goes to pubs, has interactions with Frankie’s widow, Rachel and takes his blind friend out to his ‘football’ games.
Fergus’ reactions in the days after Frank’s death is interesting as well. Generally, however, he’s more wrathful – one little thing can tap back into his raw emotions and he snaps at someone. The film tries to be an examination of someone getting personally affected with a friend’s death. There could be different reason and enemies for someone to have a fate like Frankie’s. Fergus tends to yell, an interesting knee-jerk reaction that I can’t get used to. He eventually stops listening to other people’s explanations of the events when someone misguides him to a different version of the truth. There’s a sensitive scene where he tortures his suspect and forces his to admit crimes, making one of the memorable frames within this mediocre film. 3/5.
- Today at TIFF: James Franco, James Caan and much more (theglobeandmail.com)
First saw in a post by Brad Brevet. Youtube version posted by Christopher Campbell. Click on either in case my embed effing troubleshoots. Valerie Plame‘s (Naomi Watts) husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) tries to reveal that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As a way to discredit and ruin him, they try to get to his wife and blow her cover as a CIA agent. Comes out November 5 in limited, and November 12 in wide release in the US. No known dates for Canada yet.
It’s strange how Summit Entertainment is the distributor both to the Twilight Saga and to ‘anti-American/anti-Republican films’ like Hurt Locker, Ghost Writer, and now this.
Naomi Watts is amazing at making an all-American girl seem fascinating and multi-layered. That scene in the car is worth the ticket price.
The second time Naomi Watts and Sean Penn – perfectly cast as Joe Wilson – playing love interests in a film, the first being 21 Grams, but her name’s the one on the marquee. But then I’m sure many of you would rather see her with Laura Harring again.
Also, o hai supporting cast – svelte Catherine Morton, angry guy in Little Children! (Noah Emmerich)
That music is too cliched.
There’s probably just as much or more Iraq/Gulf war movies set in Washington as it is in the war zones.
Doug Liman’s name also keeps popping up in the blogs just as much as the stars of the film. He’s directed two clunkers before this one, but as classy First Lady Michelle Obama said, ‘Don’t screw it up, buddy.’