Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Brendan Gleeson, Sigourney Weaver, Jayne Atkinson, Cherry Jones, Judy Greer, Fran Kranz, Michael Pitt, Jesse Eisenberg…
Written and Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Drama
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Released: July 26, 2004 (U.S.)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
It’s difficult to tell you much about The Village without spoilers, so I will be vague, and put most of my focus on Adrien’s performance.
The safest synopsis I can give you is: People in an isolated community live their lives according to specific rules handed down by the elders. However, younger residents seek to challenge said rules for the good of others.
As it turns out, this video was released prior to The Singing Detective. Oops.
Cast: Tori Amos, Adrien Brody
Songwriter: Tori Amos
From the album: Scarlet’s Walk
Video Director: Sanji
What can I say about this music video (or short film, if you prefer Michael Jackson’s terminology)? It’s “weird” on first viewing, but once you see it all and re-watch, it is much more effective. And touching.
Tori Amos is a (very lovely) head on a leg, Adrien Brody is a (very lovely) head on an arm. They meet and get all “love at first sight” with each other. He hurts her feelings and she flees. They reunite on a beach. They kiss. Both sprout more limbs and become fully human.
My opinion is that it’s meant to be a quite literal interpretation of the phrase “you complete me.” It’s artsy, and kind of sweet… in a creepy sort of way.
This video (with some bonus features) is actually available on DVD, in case you’d like to own it (you know I do).
Video Overall: 6/10 Brody Performance: 7/10, I’d say
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Robin Wright, Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes, Mel Gibson, Carla Gugino, Alfre Woodard, Saul Rubinek, Adrien Brody, Jon Polito
Written by: Dennis Potter (based on the television series of the same name)
Directed by: Keith Gordon
Genre: Dark Comedy, Crime, Musical… also sort of Film Noir
Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Release: January 17, 2003 (Sundance Film Festival)
MPAA Rating: R
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Dan Dark, a writer being treated for the physical and emotional challenges of a rare skin condition. He basically lives a second [imagined?] life as an alter-ego based upon his books: The Singing Detective (hence the title). It’s part film noir, part musical (though, no one actually sings, they lip sync to classic tunes), part comedy, part tragedy, part very… unique story. Downey does very well in both roles, as one would expect. I’ve yet to see him give a disappointing performance.
The Singing Detective‘s director, Keith Gordon was once an actor. You may remember him as (main character) Arnie in the possessed anthropomorphic car thriller, Christine. At least, that’s where I best remember him. I think having a director who also acts is really great, because they know about the process and how to motivate people.
I’ve been careful to go in chronological order here, but I thought it might be nice to mix things up and review something that’s being released next week on BluRay/DVD (and is already available in digital markets, such as iTunes).
Thanks to my friend Shirley Ann for encouraging me to do so.
Here we go
Cast: Adrien Brody, John Malkovich, Rory Culkin, Antonio Banderas, and Han Solo as “DeNiro” (the dog).
We’re here, guys! We’ve finally reached The Pianist!
Cast: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Ed Stoppard, Jessica Kate Myer, Julia Rayner, Daniel Caltagirone, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Valentine Pelka, Ruth Platt, Ronan Vibert, Andrew Tiernan…
Written by: Wladyslaw Szpilman (memoir), Ronald Harwood (adapted screenplay)
Directed by: Roman Polanski
Genre: Drama, History, Biography
Running Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Release: May 24, 2002 (Cannes Film Festival); December 4, 2002 (U.S.)
Cast: Adrien Brody, Charlotte Ayanna, Jon Seda, August Diehl, Pam Grier, Liza Jessie Peterson, Elizabeth Regen, and Katherine Moennig
Written by: Wang Shuo (source material), Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle (screenplay)
Directed by: Peter Sehr
Genre: Drama, Crime, Romance
Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Release: August 8, 2001 (Locarno Film Festival)
MPAA Rating: R
This movie was marketed as if it was made after The Pianist. It was not. The presence of the World Trade Center towers should be enough evidence of that. They just wanted to sell DVDs on the back of Adrien’s Oscar win. I can’t fault them, though… it’s a good strategy.