Friday, January 19, 2007

The Good German

I have been quite excited to see this motion picture.

I'm in love with that old Hollywood style of making movies. I like Soderbergh. I like Clooney. I love Blanchett. I loved the book.

I was severely disappointed by the fact it took me an extra month to see this picture.

What I was not severely disappointed by, was the movie. It was pretty good. It wasn't an amazing, fantastic, orgasmic motion picture. It was pretty good. The acting was all interesting, the dialogue was all fairly period, the look and style of the picture was amazing.

I'd love to make a movie like this. It put a smile on my face the whole way through.

I have only two major problems with this adaptation that made it a 7 out of 10 instead of a perfect score.

Problem #1) Soderbergh made the choice to make a period movie. Everything about it was held to the mid-40s standard of technology and acting. Everything but the language and nudity. Now, I'm not squeamish about nudity and I have, at times, what could be called a potty mouth. They just didn't belong in this picture. They should have made the film so it would have passed muster against the Code. I think this would have made the film much more plausible as an artifact of the 40s and much more commercially viable.

Problem #2) I've read a number of reviews from critics that have said that the major problem with the film is that the style keeps all of the characters at arms length. This is simply not true. It's the screenplay. It's the adaptation. The film was substantially different from the novel, and that doesn't bother me. I'm fine with writers and directors taking liberties with the material, that wasn't the problem. The problem, it seemed to me, was that Attanasio threw out the best material for an adaptation in this style. A more clever writer would have left more to insinuation and been able to play in that era more capably.

Don't expect too much, but don't avoid the movie either. It really does have merit.

We should be supporting experiments in film like this with our box office dollars.

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