Last night, we watched Goya’s Ghosts, which I didn’t think was a terrible movie. With the brooding Javier Bardem portraying an evil priest-come-revolutionary and a standout performance from Natalie Portman, I can’t harsh it like everyone else. There were some beautiful scenes, like the dining scene with Inés’ family and Brother Lorenzo, but it didn’t really speak to what made Goya who he was. (Sure, we can argue that “the times” made him what he was, but lots of artists didn’t respond the way he did by any means.) And there was a weird time jump that didn’t work for me at all. It wasn’t like my all-time favorite Milos Forman film, Amadeus, by any means, but still.
And then today we went to the Director’s Guild to the City of Lights, City of Angels film festival where we watched la graine et le mulet, which was extraordinary in every way despite a few pacing problems. It was so realistic, The Frenchman said it almost felt like a documentary in places. For me, it was more like watching a Mike Leigh movie. I’m sure parts of it were improvised, as the intensity and pacing of certain scenes were wound up several notches higher than anything scripted can possibly create. Probably none of you will see this film, but if either you’re curious about immigration stories or you just want to see amazingly realistic character portrayal and dialog, this can’t be missed.
Okay, must return to the grindstone.