A Matador’s Mistress

Side Note

This movie is also known as Manolete, The Passion Within, or Blood and Passion.

manolete1
When Manolo met Lupe

Cast: Adrien Brody, Penelope Cruz, Santiago Segura, Josep Linuesa, Nacho Aldeguer

Written by: Menno Meyjes

Directed by: Menno Meyjes

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Released: September 6, 2008 (Toronto Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated (I would say PG-13, leaning toward R)

Background

Adrien trained with a dialect coach for this film, but ended up using his own voice/accent, with a few random words pronounced accurately. Sort of like an American newscaster (you know what I’m talking about).

I’m not sure why this happened, given the character he played was a real person born and raised in Spain. Perhaps trying the accent was distracting him too much from the emotional parts, so they scrapped it. Whatever the reason, it’s distracting to have the lead sound American, when everyone else sounds Spanish.

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What happens at the end?

Some of you may be wondering…

“What happens to this blog when you finish the filmography?”

Well, first of all, I hope Adrien Brody will remain active in the film industry in whatever capacity he chooses. At the present, he has taken a step back from acting, to focus on producing. If this blog becomes focused on things he’s had a non-acting hand in creating, then that’s okay.

There are also some films in the can whose releases have been delayed, such as Emperor and Air Strike (aka: The Bombing, or Unbreakable Spirit). If those ever come out, I’d be happy to discuss them.

Meanwhile…

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The Darjeeling Limited

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image via kissthemgoodbye.net

Cast: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Amara Karan, Wallace Wolodarsky, Waris Ahluwalia, Irrfan Kahn, Anjelica Houston… (and a Bill Murray cameo)

Written by: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Adventure… really, the genre is Wes Anderson 😉

Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Released: September 28, 2007 (New York Film Festival)

Disclaimer, of sorts:

I am rating this objectively, like a “real” film critic would. However, this is one of my favorite movies, so if it was based strictly on my enjoyment as a fan, it would be about a nine.

Also, I have a lot to say about this one. My apologies.

A word of thanks: The screen captures used in this article (save for the photo in the header) are from KissThemGoodbye.net. Thank you for your beautiful images (and for saving me a lot of time and work).

Background/Synopsis

The Darjeeling Limited was Adrien Brody’s first collaboration with writer/director Wes Anderson. The story centers around three estranged brothers (Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman) who come together for a trip through India, a year after their father’s death. In true Wes Anderson style, there is dysfunctional family-based humor, and the tragic moments are still beautifully executed.

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Hollywoodland

Cast: Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, Robin Tunney, Bob Hoskins, Molly Parker, Zach Mills, Kathleen Robertson, Larry Cedar, Jeffrey DeMunn, Lois Smith…

Written by: Paul Bernbaum

Directed by: Allen Coulter

Genre: Crime, Drama

Running Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Released: August 31, 2006 (Italy); September 8 in the U.S.

MPAA Rating: R

Background

George Reeves, the man who played Superman on the original television series, passed away via suicide in June of 1959. Some people believed his death was suspicious. At the very least, the circumstances surrounding Reeves’ life and death were somewhat complicated. This film explores many scenarios for what could have happened that night, and it’s very interesting to watch those play out.

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King Kong

My thoughts on Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005), and Adrien Brody’s performance therein.

Peter Jackson, Adrien Brody, King Kong set
Director Peter Jackson, with Adrien on the set of King Kong.

Cast: Andy Serkis, Jack Black, Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Kyle Chandler, Colin Hanks, John Sumner, Craig Hall, Evan Parke, Jamie Bell, Lobo Chan…

Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson

Based on a story by: Merian C. Cooper, and Edgar Wallace

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Genre: Action, Adventure

Running Time: 3 hours, 7 minutes (there’s also a 3 hour, 20 minute version)

Released: December 14, 2005 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Background

Peter Jackson dreamed of recreating King Kong since he was a child. The original movie (from 1933) was the very reason he went into filmmaking. With all of that build up, and all those years of work, how did Jackson’s vision turn out?

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The Jacket

Cast: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kris Kristopherson, Daniel Craig, McKenzie Phillips…

Written by: Massy Tadjedin, Marc Rocco, and Tom Bleeker

Directed by: John Maybury

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Released: January 23, 2005 (Sundance Film Festival)

MPAA Rating: R

In my top 10 Adrien Brody movies, The Jacket is number six. So, obviously, I enjoy it. There are just nitpicky things (or maybe valid) things that keep it from scoring higher.

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The Village

Noah and Ivy

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

Synopsis

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.

There, I think that’s a general enough summary.

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“A Sorta Fairytale” – Tori Amos

Note:

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

Released: 2002

Synopsis

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.

Another note:

This video (with some bonus features) is actually available on DVD, in case you’d like to own it (you know I do).

Scores

Video Overall: 6/10
Brody Performance: 7/10, I’d say

The Video

 

The Singing Detective

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Adrien as “first hood.”

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

Synopsis

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.

Fun fact:

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.

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