more art of film

OK “The Bucket List” is an old movie, but it’s still in the theatre. Go see it.

In order to evaluate or judge something you need a measure to gauge against. For film I have Casablanca(directed by Michael Curtiz, who manages to get the most Bogie out of Bogart) at the top of the all time list with Road to Perdition(directed by Sam Mendes) as the Modern yardstick. Those who might argue the ‘Die Hards’ or the ‘Terminators’ at the top miss the point; I’m talking about serious filmmaking not slapstick.

The Bucket List
Directed by Rob Reiner

Jack Nicholson

Morgan Freeman

Sean Hayes

Beverly Todd

Here Nicholson displays probably his broadest range(in drama) as an actor. Not to slight his substantial comedic abilities. From his torment under chemotherapy, through his adventure of life, to the look on his face when the little girl smiles at him; this man can act. Even his signature phsyco makes a brief appearance in the boardroom “It’s just a question, Have any of you read The Divine Comedy?”

That Morgan Freeman holds his own opposite Jack, and gets in some of his own licks, is testament to his talents. His scene with Rowena King(Angelica) is pivotal and so poignant. The consideration that passes across his face is one of the finer acting lessons you could get.

The support by Sean Hayes and Beverly Todd, brilliant.

John Schwartzman’s cinematography so nice to look at. For instruction note his use of focus and choice of camera position.

I’d like to comment on the soundscape(Marc Shaiman and Stephen Bashaw), but it was so integrated I was transported by it without notice.

It is truely a shame Hollywood does not recognize the potential audience for real film making. But then the pantheon of directors(working today) of this caliber; Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Rob Reiner, and that kid Peter Jackson, is so small.


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