SIFF Journal #3

By kate on June 7th, 2004

This black comedy stars Ally Sheedy and supermodel Trish Goff (in her first acting role). Joyce (Goff) is a young divorcee who moves into an apartment below Charlotte (Sheedy), who plays loud music at night, makes lots of noise, and drives Joyce nuts.

I thought it was okay, but found Goff really distracting. I’m not sure where she’s from, but some other accent kept creeping out from behind her attempts at an American one. She’s pretty, but also kind of alien, and therefore it was hard to sympathize with her character. I can think of several actresses I would have preferred in the role. Sheedy was good, as always, in her smaller role.

The screenwriter attended the screening, and afterwards he tried to create some mystery as to how much of the events in the movie only happened in Joyce’s head. He’s the expert, I guess, but the movie seemed more straightforward to me.

Rating: 3

This movie is based on the Dorothy Allison book of the same name. I really like Bastard out of Carolina (both the book and the movie, which incidentally was the first time I took note of Jena Malone). However, Cavedweller was not of the same caliber, despite a good performance by Kyra Sedgwick.

I won’t go into a synopsis of the plot – you can follow the link for that – but in the end, I found the story unsatisfying. I haven’t read the book, so I’m not sure if the fault is with Allison or the screenwriter and director. (I enjoyed High Art, the director’s first movie.) I don’t want to put any big spoilers here, so I’ll just say some of the characters’ decisions didn’t ring true to me. Also, platitudes were sometimes used in place of true emotion.

Rating: 2

This is a movie adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses. A little over a year ago, my friend Ryan and I agreed to read Ulysses together, and we started in earnest. However, eventually we both started picking up the book less often, and eventually it just gathered dust. I had gotten about halfway through, I think. Anyway, when I saw Bloom in the SIFF lineup, I decided I should see it as penance.

Luckily for me, it was a good movie. I really can’t say how it would be as a movie if I was not already intimately familiar with the characters, though. The world of Ulysses is such an intense, every-moment, inside-the-head place that I am not able to view the movie outside of that. The filmmakers cut out some scenes, but I don’t think anything major was omitted. The stream-of-consciousness narrative was kept in many places via effective voiceovers. I was surprised to see that things like the streets of Dublin and the Bloom household looked a LOT like I had pictured them! I suppose that’s a credit to Joyce’s powers of description.

Anyway, seeing the film made me renew my intention to finish the book. Especially since there are more saucy bits in the second half…

Rating: 4

Only two more movies next weekend, and then SIFF will be over.

Filed under: film
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