Thursday, March 06, 2008

Land of Plenty - Movie Review

Land of Plenty is another movie I'm glad I gave a chance. First off Michelle Williams acting job is very nuanced. She has to dig down deep to come up with her conviction and not look like a fraud. Michelle's character is a child of missionary workers, and she wears a cross around her neck. It never once looked out of place because of her countenance and vibe she brought to the character. There is a scene at night when she is in bed alone that just blew me away. In the hands of a lesser actor it would have been hackneyed, overblown and far less convincing. I was thrilled and stunned and almost had a knee jerk incredulous reaction but she pulled it off. It was and is very inspiring and still with me today. It felt like real conviction to me and has informed my sensibilities and enhanced my outlook. It's hard to fake that kind of conviction and certain type of enlightenment. That a movie and actor can do that is why we watch. We have a very fine actress here and kudos for a magnificent job to Michelle.

John Diehl is a face you will immediately recognize. The man has worked character studies for decades and his turn in this lead role is equal to Michelle's. This is a story of subtle reactions competing with overt actions as revelation tries to creep into well established modes of behavior. John Diehl is very convincing and so much so the viewer is left with some doubt as to just exactly what may happen. The film is done in such a way that it is entirely possible that the naive are not so naive and the delusional might be absolutely right. I contribute that to acting as well as script and the themes, lighting, pacing, and art direction.

I really, really liked this movie it's messages, it's despair, it's hope and it's glory. The fact that the actors characters are not one dimensional is never done in a ham fisted way but unveiled in nuanced responses, facial expression, a well placed curse word and well I'm just happy I stumbled into this movie.

I am seriously going to dig further into Michelle and John's work and can highly recommend this movie. The passion that Michelle brings to her role reminded me of all the unknown souls trying to do good things in this world of tabloid headlines and sensationalism. She really got to me and with that in mind let me link the following sites:

Doctors Without Borders
Amnesty International
The Peace Corp

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