Monday, 30 September 2013

BLUE JASMINE / RUSH

Two movies in two days.  What madness. Spouse and self used to go and see every new Woody Allen movie until they stopped distributing them.  If we only saw one movie a year, it would be a Woody. Saw Blue Jasmine with Woody-fan son.  He liked it a lot.  I was, to be honest, slightly underwhelmed, chiefly because I'd been expecting more laughs.  This was drama with occasional chuckles, not a comedy. Perhaps, paradoxically, the problem was with the strength of Cate Blanchett's performance.  It was difficult to laugh at or with someone so broken and self-deluding.  And of course the other thing is that it kept on being not A Streetcar Named Desire.

Rush, on the other, hand, was a blast, and not just of high octane fuel, but of intelligence and sharp film-making.  Neither wholly likeable, nor wholly unlikeable (and I imagine racing car drivers are like novelists, hugely egotistical) Hunt and Lauda were constantly interesting characters criss-crossing their way through the narrative, reflecting each other's massive need to win. Hunt needed to win to be happy.  For Lauda "happiness was the enemy".  Along with all the boy's own stuff, there were genuinely touching portraits of the drivers' love lives.  It was impossible not to feel the pain and worry of Lauda's wife as her husband raced, crashed and had his lungs hoovered.

But I suppose, in the end, this was an old fashioned tale of two rival gladiators, with very different attitudes but a growing mutual respect (the real arc of the story). Highly recommended.

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