1. Hope Springs (2012)
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, & Steve Carell
Since I watched the trailer a couple months ago, I found myself become interesting, considering what Frankel and Streep had done with The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Moreover, beside Streep and Lee Jones, Steve Carell joins in it too. How couldn’t it be a promising comedy? I would laugh out loud just like when I saw TDWP. That’s what I thought.
The fact is how disappointed when I saw the full film. It’s surprisingly unexpected boring. I thought it was comedy, at least 60% comedy and 40% drama, but it is almost pure drama. It’s about how a middle age couple, Kay & Arnold (Streep & Lee Jones) tries to fix and renew their marriage with the help of a marriage counselor, Dr. Feld (Carell). Yes, some part can make me smile but the rest is so boring that even makes me sleepy. Maybe, this is not for my age, not yet.
Streep and Lee Jones might give something different here. Unquestionable, their chemistry is really attractive. Streep’s expression is flawless. Carell is the opposite. It’s awkward to see his acting as an expert of marriage counselor. His character doesn’t develop at all. I don’t have any idea about his background or his family or even his marriage. It seems there is something wrong about the script. Despite the magic of Streep and Lee Jones chemistry, sorry to say, it’s still dull.
“He is everything. But I’m… I’m really lonely. And to be with someone, when you’re not really with him can… it’s… I think I might be less lonely… alone.” ~Kay
2. Trouble with the Curve (2012)
Director: Robert Lorenz
Writer: Randy Brown
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, & Justin Timberlake
A simple film about 1) how an old baseball scout, Gus (Eastwood), tries to do his job for the last time with the limitation of his vision and 2) his relationship with his estranged daughter, Mickey (Adams) who is an ambitious lawyer but has some knowledge and interesting about baseball too.
This isn’t just about baseball only, but also a sensitive family issue about a father who tries to push the daughter away from his life.
I like its simplicity. Even though, it gives exhilarating story both of baseball and family issue. One important message about scouting a good player is how human’s sense is still powerful than a modern technology nowadays. It’s totally opposite of Bennet Miller’s Moneyball (2011).
Eastwood is a legend. I always love Amy Adams. Her performance is sharp and elegant. I’ll really recommend this film for you if you’re looking for a not too heavy and long duration drama film, but still gives full of meaning. It left me a lasting impression. It’s well worth seeing, indeed.
“Anybody who uses computers doesn’t know a damn thing about this game.” ~Gus
3. Life of Pi (2012)
Director: Ang Lee
Writers: David Magee (screenplay) & Yann Martel (novel)
Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, & Adil Hussain
Based on Yann Martel’s best selling novel and the winner of Booker Prize in 2002, it’s about a wonderful adventure of an India young man, Pi Patel, who survives from a sea disaster and finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named RICHARD PARKER.
I’ve already read the novel in 2006 and always think that it’s not possible to be filmed. Now, I am totally wrong. Ang Lee has made this possible. It’s beyond my expectation and my fantasy. One of the most imaginative, powerful, and beautiful film of 2012 beside Benh Zietlin’s Beast of The Southern Wild. Many incredible moments which made me and my friends gasped several times. Even though some religion issue is quite sensitive topic, it still can be told just the way it is according to the family and region background. Nominated for 11 Oscars this year, it will be very fair if it can bring home for best visual effect, score, sound mixing, and sound editing (Seriously, my speaker’s laptop now is broken after watching this ;( ).
“Above all, don’t lose hope.” ~Pi Patel