Friday, January 18, 2008

Winter Passing - Movie Review

Maybe this movie appealed to me because I'm a writer, maybe this movie appealed to me because I love Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and Will Ferrell in a toned down role, but most of all this movie appealed to me because of Zooey Deschannel. There is just something lurking beneath the surface with her. You just know she's a major goof ball but she is currently playing all these deeper, conflicted roles, and the depth she brings to her characters isn't faked. As you can tell I really like Zooey and look forward to her career expanding. Hopefully one day she'll record an album of standards. Her turn on "Baby it's Cold Outside" (Elf) had everyone including James Taylor recording and rediscovering that chestnut from yesteryear. Hat's off to Zooey. So how about the movie?

It's an angsty film with bizarre characters. But as in any good story as with real life the more layers you peel back the more you see, and then all of a sudden it's not so unusual after all. So without giving any of the plot away the characters are not one dimensional and the light they are seen in is varied. Kudos to the director and writer for serving up three dimensional characters. If you are looking for a fast paced, action shoot em up this is not your movie. No guns - I love movies without guns! If you are looking for brilliant, subtle acting with some over the top hi jinx for periodic comic relief - this is a great choice. One of Zooey's love interest although fleetingly in the movie exposes the audience or rather gives the audience a chance to ask why is he a hero.

It's a question worth asking and answering and the directors and writer do not spoon feed you all the answers - good stuff, good for them. It's a thinker and respectfully pulls the audience in and allows them some creativity and the opportunity to put something of themselves into the movie. There's nothing wrong with a little pondering, and after all are the loose ends really that important. Well that's for each one of us to decide. It makes for a good movie.

A quick word on Amelia Warner Zooey's foil in part of the movie - she brings an understated role to life and plays it subtly. I've seen the word eccentric used to describe this movie but that's just the outer layer of the character development. It's a device to put inner pain out there and before the audience. Do not be put off by that description or the weird promotional photo. It's not so weird after you have seen the movie - you'll have an oh yeah moment. It's good to use the brain.

Winter Passing is another movie I can highly recommend.

Paul
Author - Journey Home

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