Friday, February 3, 2006

Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis, Anthony Hopkins

"The biggest risk in life is not taking one."

Cinema 8, SM Megamall


This is one of those obscure movies that just sneaks up on you. By obscure I mean, it doesn't get much publicity and it has the risk of being converted into the DVD format soon after its release. It is based on a play by David Auburn and I read that Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role on the stage for the film version. She is the daughter of a brilliant deceased mathematician who unfortunately became insane. She is conflicted and somehow convinced that she is also going mad because it is in her genes. We are shown glimpses of her close rapport with her father before and after he loses his battle with dementia. The entire movie is centered around the house as Catherine, her sister Claire and a former student Hal sort through the numerous documents/notebooks of the late professor. Shouting matches between the two estranged sisters, Catherine airing out her torment and Hal trying to prove and convince Catherine that she isn't insane. It is a very 'intellectual' film, you need to pay close attention to the dialogue. It also deals with deep seethed emotions like caring for an afflicted father, sacrificing your own life and trying to prove you are also a genius in your own right.
Gywneth Paltrow is good and it seems that her stage acting has added more confidence in her performance. Jake Gyllenhaal still has the same spaced out look he had in "Moonlight Mile" but he delivers his lines well and eloquently you don't go like "huh what did he say?". Anthony Hopkins has a very small role here but it still creates quite an impact.
I believe it isn't really a movie for everyone. It might suit those in the academe profession as well as the intellectual types yet it isn't tediously stuffy at all. Maybe because it deals with human emotions.

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