phi (totient) wrote,
phi
totient

movie review

So miss_chance won us a pair of tickets to see a sneak preview of an unspecified movie tonight. The movie turned out to be Northfork. I know that some people like to avoid reading reviews before seeing a movie, so although there aren't really spoilers in it you might want to avoid reading this one if you're intent on seeing the movie.

I'd seen a trailer for Northfork at the Kendall and it looked pretty intriguing. The trailer lays out some plot and shows a few shots with great visual metaphoric impact, and hints at some interesting thematic material as well. But the actual screenplay fails to carry through the plot to the point where the metaphors could apply to it, leaving the movie with a few heavy-handed metaphors, no coherent theme, and a lot of nonsense. The weakness isn't just in the overarching structure either; most of the dialogue is inane, the characterization flat, the pacing frustrating not so much because it's slow as because it just never seems to get to the good parts. The flat characterization wasn't helped by heaps of overacting by Anthony Edwards and Darryl Hannah. Nick Nolte managed not to bring any passion to what should have been a powerful character. The direction was generally awful but made the additional mistake of relying too much on the pre-teen rookie actor Duel Farnes. Scenes that would have been refreshingly surreal in a movie like Henry and June were pointless instead. There were a few bright spots in the cinematography, but most of those appear in the trailer and having seen them in the trailer spoils the build-up to them. Staying in the world of the film was a chore, and a difficult one; I found myself sitting in the theatre comparing the film unfavorably to your average high school drama club production.

If you're going to see this movie despite the review I just gave, you should at least save yourself the pain of sorting out the somewhat ambiguous era and go in knowing that it's set in 1955. But really I would recommend avoiding the movie entirely.
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