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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

P for Powerful


Nick and I watched V for Vendetta over the weekend, and if I had to describe the experience in one word, that word would be powerful. From the performances (Natalie Portman really can act! I KNEW IT! Even if I forgot it for a while during that whole insane, awful Star Wars prequel period. Ugh. Let's never speak of that again) to the art direction to the writing to the message of the movie--POW. ER. FUL.

Hugo Weaving is, as always, fantastic. He acts with that mask on through the whole thing, in a very Kabuki, ancient Greek kind of way--and exactly as in those acting forms, the mask begins to seem alive. Or at least, you forget it's a mask, and see it as the person he is. Hard to explain, and I'm sure even harder to accomplish. Weaving's voice gets most of the attention (since it's the kind of voice I'd be happy to listen to explaining the ins and outs of carburetors, much less chewing over that great "Remember, remember the fifth of November" poem) but it's really his physicality that makes the character. It would be so easy for every gesture to seem clownish, but Weaving's precision and grace instead impart a strange sexiness. Somehow, the fact that the mask's expression never changes makes you hyper aware of his body. It's a neat effect, and one that not many actors could've pulled off.

The supporting cast is marvelous: Stephen Rea as a burnt out cop who secrety longs to believe in something; John Hurt as the resident evil dictator; Stephen Fry as the gay TV personality. The show belongs to Natalie, though--it's her transformation that carries us through the film, and she takes the burden on her skinny shoulders with a good deal more grit and maturity than she's ever been called on to show before. Flying colors, all around.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that she looks fabulous bald as a cue ball. And how many girls can say that?

6 Comments:

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Mel Francis said...

I soooo want to see this movie...but can't.

The mask thing freaks me out. It's kinda like a clown. and I hate clowns.

I honestly don't know if I can sit through the film and believe that creepy masked guy is a hero.

*shudder*

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Louisa Edwards said...

It's NOT a clown mask. Anyway, rent it and give it ten minutes. You can always just turn it off.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Mel Francis said...

Yeah, but it's freaky. Even the commercials ooooged me out. We're gonna try it cuz I like the idea behind the story and I love natalie portman...but I'm still a little unsure...

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger Nephele Tempest said...

I adored this film. Saw it twice in the theater, which given the price of movie tix is a big deal these days. I second Louisa's suggestion, Mel. Just give it a few minutes. So worth it.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger MariaGeraci said...

I'll have to put that on my Netflix list!

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Maureen McGowan said...

I'm so bummed I missed this movie in the theatres... I have it as my #1 pick on zip.ca (like netflix) but haven't received it yet...

I've been a Natalie Portman fan since The Professional and Beautiful Girls but I guess I didn't love her in an adult role until Closer (she was amazing) or maybe Garden State. I loved looking at those Star Wars prequel movies... but George Lucas is not kind to actors... I think Harrison Ford is one of the only actors who didn't come off less than their usual standard in one of his movies...

 

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