So, I won't be writing this week, but a couple of recently-released movie trailers have piqued our interest. and deserve comment:
The Blind Side - the best book I have ever read about football - is being turned into a movie with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. Based on the trailer, I would say that it looks good, if a little overly manipulative. Clearly, Warner Brothers has decided to emphasize the familial and racial themes over the football (which doesn't make an appearance until the very end of the trailer.) The story of Michael Oher and the Tuohys is a true one - Oher was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft - and if they make too many factual errors in the film, critics and football fans will be quick to point them out. Then again, if the movie is marketed to the You've Got Mail set, then the factual erros in the football half of the story won't make much of a difference to the bottom line. When studios make kind-hearted white people the heroes in stories about racial progress, or exaggerate the athletic success of a player in order to make him seem more admirable for dramatic purposes, studios take the easy way out, and, based on the trailer, both appear to be true about The Blind Side. But the book was so good that I am willing to give the movie a chance, even if it prominently features a song by The Fray in its promotional trailers:
The Road - Cormac McCarthy fans may debate whether The Road is the author's best novel, but there can be little doubt that it is one of the most significant novels of the past 30 years, and the cinematic adaptation appears to be equally ambitious. From the top down, the casting appears to be brilliant, and the cinematography elegant and depressing, which is the way that it should be. This film was originally scheduled to be released last winter, in time to qualify for the 2008 Oscars, and such long delays in post-production almost never bode well, but it has too much going for it - pedigree, cast, budget, Oprah - to fail completely. Right? Worst case scenario, it is one of those botched literary adaptations (like The Bonfire of the Vanities) that people debate and discuss for years.
Brooklyn - An NYU film student has remade Woody Allen's Manhattan - long a CSD favorite - as Brooklyn. The concept is perhaps a little too cute for its own good, but, once again, the source material is fantastic, and the imitation of Gordon Willis' cinematography is uncanny. Willis was one of the all-time greats (The Godfather trilogy, all of Woody Allen's classics from Annie Hall to The Purple Rose of Cairo, All the President's Men, The Paper Chase), so, in this case, the film's derivitive nature is no drawback. Odds are, nobody west of the Hudson will care, but I am fascinated.