Sunday, August 24, 2008

So, yeah, Elegy.

I've left comments about this movie on a few other blogs already this morning, and feel like I've said all I need to. Bottom line is I really wanted to like "Elegy," and for much of the time I did. It's beautifully shot and acting is very good: Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper, Peter Saarsgaard*, Patricia Clarkson, Penelope Cruz. This could easily have fallen onto less accomplished shoulders and been a true disaster.

But, I would have been okay with it if it had ended, oh, about 20 minutes earlier than it did. The ending was painful - cliched, maudlin, dull. It annoyed me and made me want to bail.

There is a moment just before it goes south when Kingsley's character drops a racquet ball and it rolls to rest against the wall. I held my breath for a second then, thinking, could this be the ending? A quiet ending that left us with the characters' lives as unresolved and messy as they were when the film started? Now that would have been a movie I'd wanted to have seen, but sadly, it kept going.

Oddly, I thought the stronger love story was between Kingsley's and Hopper's characters. Their final scene together was raw and complex and beautiful.

* Yes, I know I have one too many "a's" in there, but ever since he's been with Maggie Gyllenhaaaaal I can't help it. I love him, although his trademark sleepy expression is in full force here - has their daughter still not yet learned to sleep through the night?


Blogger Jerry said...

I would probably agree with you. I did like "Elegy" a great deal, but the last 20 minutes was pure TV-movie-of-the-week.

4:43 PM  

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