Thursday, June 22, 2006

CineVegas report, part 2

Told ya I'd be back to finish my CineVegas movie-watching adventure. I have two more films to report on, even though I would've loved to have seen more. Today's offering features my favorite film of the festival as well as a movie that was both puzzling and oddly intriguing.

DANIKA starred Maria Tomei, and I'm telling you that she's been sorely missed--especially when she gives performances of this caliber. She plays a woman who might be losing her hold on sanity: Danika's having ultra-violent visions that all threaten the happiness of her family. The film was often jarring, with very effective shock shots (You know what I'm talking about: it's when you're watching a scary movie and a dang cat jumps out of a cupboard and everyone goes, "Ahhh! Ohhhh. Hah hah hah, I'm so embarrassed for being faked out. Or sometimes it's when a character is creeping around the house in an effort to find out what that strange noise is and they open a door, look around, then close it--only to find Robert DeNiro standing there! "Ahhh!" Now back to DANIKA.) The eerie tone is effective, as is the twisty plot. But the best thing about the film is the ending, which is absolutely heartbreaking. I don't say this lightly, but I was actually fighting tears as the credits rolled. Marisa Tomei really sold her character, and I hope this film gets the attention it deserves; she shines.

The last movie was an offering from Romania, a subtitled work called LOVESICK. The film description was vague enough that I had absolutely no idea what the contents would be besides love. Good enough for me, so in I went. I soon found out that the plot concerned a love triangle. Easy enough--but the triangle was composed of two women, plus one of their brothers. No, that is not a typo. What's interesting, though, is how the second woman reacts to the possibility of the other woman being in love with her brother: she actually begins to *encourage* the relationship on an intelluctual level (She uses literature to defend the incest, maintaining that there is a sublime beauty to this kind of love. I guess that's why they called this movie LOVESICK.). The movie doesn't treat the subject sensationally--the relationship between all three of the characters just is. I'm pretty sure most of the audience was freaked out: no applause afterward and barely any conversation--which was weird because, after THE FAVOR and DANIKA, I heard lots of buzz.

Until next year...

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