Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday Night at the Movies

We watched two movies back to back last night - "No Reservations" and "The Brave One".

"No Reservations" was surprisingly poignant, due COMPLETELY to the incredible child actor, Abigail Breslin of "Little Miss Sunshine" fame. She pulls your heart-strings...even if it is in such a predictable film as this. I had no idea what this film was about, and wouldn't recommend it unless you are looking for a brief diversion, or you are a fan of Abigail Breslin. But as a break from Olympics track & field moments, it fulfilled its purpose in my afternoon.

In contrast, I found "The Brave One" to be riveting and I was blown away by Jodie Foster's portrayal of a confident New York woman who is suddenly devastated by an unprovoked random violent attack in Central Park. The attack leaves her badly beaten and comatose for 3 weeks, while her fiance dies of his injuries.

Suffering from paralyzing fear, she seeks some illusion of protection by trying to purchase a gun. When told she needs a license and to wait 30 days, her heartbreaking response is, "I don't know if I can survive 30 days."

After a lifetime of free-wheeling NY living, never having been touched by violence or fear, her life increasingly spins out of control through continuing interactions with violence. A robbery in a convenience store, a subway gang attack, a sex crime/kidnapping, and a brush with organized crime. This reversal of character is captured when her counterpart in the movie, a detective played by Terrence Howard, asks her how she has recovered from her trauma, and her response (paraphrase), "You don't. You become a different person."

This story was fascinating to me - and mostly because of the Foster-Howard portrayals of their characters. The ending was surprising - a little too Hollywood - but I do believe the struggles portrayed by Foster and Howard were real, deep, and powerful.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I love Jodie Foster--I'll have to see it.

I didn't like No Reservations simply because I felt like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart lacked any chemistry whatsoever.

so NOT cool said...

I love Jodie Foster too!

Thanks for the movie recommendations. I'm always up for checking out new movies.

Teena in Toronto said...

I had "No Reservations" on my list when it came out but the critics crapped on it. So I'm waiting for it to come on the movie channel.

I'd never heard of "The Brave One" until I saw a preview for it this week. I'm not a fan of Jodie's but it looks good.