June 2nd, 2008

Mal dance

The Unbearable Lightness of Baking

A week and a half ago, arbitrarium and I saw a free screening of The Fall, a new (made in 2006 but only recently released) movie starring Lee Pace and directed by the guy who did The Cell (which I haven't seen). The premise is that Lee Pace is bedridden in a hospital, and he starts telling this story to a girl with a broken arm, and the story sort of shifts and evolves as she gets into it. It's cute. The girl is adorable and totally hilarious. She's not an actress, so a lot of her performance was improvised, which works perfectly since she's so naturally cute that anything she says is gold. She cracks you up and breaks your heart; she's a very believably naive child. And what's also fun is that it's from the perspective of the girl, so you don't really understand all that's going on with Lee Pace at first, and you have to piece it all together from things people around him are saying (and what he says) that she doesn't really comprehend.

Also? Lee Pace has ARMS.

The movie was generally neat. Good but not great (arbitrarium disagrees, as she loved it). A leetle pretentious but not as much as you'd think. The story-within-the-story is mostly deliberately cheesy nonsense, which is sort of disappointing. But the relationship between Lee Pace and the girl is solid, and that's the real point of the movie. What I really liked about the movie was that although it starts out as a story he's telling her, it becomes a story shared between them. And you know I love stories about stories.

I think a lot of the behind-the-scenes stories about the movie are great, though. The movie was a passion project for the director, who funded it with his own money, even though this involved shooting in over 18 different countries. There is a fantastical blue city that is not CGI: the crew gave the townspeople blue paint to paint their roofs. Catinca Untaru, who plays the little girl, thought Lee Pace was actually paraplegic, so the director decided to fake the entire cast and crew out. And so on.

The main thing people go ga-ga over, however, is the visuals, which are sumptuous and gorgeous and all sorts of other -ouses. Personally, I was not that bowled over because the great visuals weren't in service of a worthy story (as I said, the story-within-the-story is kind of pointless in and of itself), but that doesn't mean the movie wasn't a treat to look at. It's certainly different. typicrobots has picspammed the trailer, so you can see how gosh-darn pretty it is.

The comments there are what inspired me to go ahead and post about the movie myself since I realized a lot of you might not be aware of this movie at all. It's in pretty limited release, but if you want to see Lee Pace fight with a sword, Tarsem Singh has fulfilled your wishes.

And following the Lee Pace -> Pushing Daisies -> pie -> Waitress trajectory, I will also add that last night, I watched Waitress, which kept with the thematics of 2007 by being about both pregnancy and pie. It was a lovely little movie and absolutely hilarious at times, so understated with its humor, like it hardly acknowledges its punchlines. Keri Russell disappears into her character; it's amazing what an accent will do! And that Fillion guy all the ladies like so much does his Fillion thing, more with the adorably awkward than the heroic bravado. The supporting characters are also very entertaining. I had some small issues with the ending, but it was still sweet and fun overall.