About This Blog

This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

Popular Posts

Movie Reviews: Miss Minoes, Norwegian Wood

Posted by gck Thursday, February 23, 2012

Watched these films before my China trip but didn’t get around to writing the reviews at that time. Totally should have while it was all fresh in my mind. Oh well.

Miss Minoes
Netherlands, 2001
Watched: in theater, SIFF
Rating: **** (out of 5)

Sometimes I am unapologetic about my tastes. That applies to anything related to Jane Austen + British period drama and… anything about cats. Really, anyone who watches the trailer for Miss Minoes will probably know right away whether to watch it or not. For someone who loves cats, it’s soooo adorable. For a lot of other people, it will likely be ridiculous. Whatever. By accident, a cat suddenly turns into a human, retaining her cat behaviors and ability to talk to cats (but conveniently gaining the ability to talk to humans). She and the Meow Network helps out a journalist who’s about to get sacked because he can never come up with good news stories. Because it is a movie for children, it is dubbed into English instead of subtitled. That bothered me a lot less than I thought it would. Then again, a lot times it’s cats doing the talking so the lips don’t match up anyway. I thought it was a charming, entertaining movie, and I’m sure others will think otherwise, but I don’t care. :)

Norwegian Wood
Japan, 2010
Watched: in theater, SIFF
Rating: **** (out of 5)

Norwegian Wood is based on a very popular novel of the same name written by Haruki Murakami. Watching the movie really made me want to read the book. The movie and, I suspect, the book are not going to be enjoyed by everyone. If you aren’t one for atmospheric, quietly unraveling, extremely character-driven film, you will be bored out of your mind. It’s an arthouse film for sure. There are so many interesting lines in the film – and I am sure there are even more in the book – like “Life is too short to read books that have not stood the test of time.” (Hmm… time to rethink some of my reading?)

They say the book is almost always better than the movie, right? I bet that is true in this case as well. I’m actually glad I saw the movie first. While many of the book lovers may be disappointed with all the details left out, I now hunger for more information about these characters that I met, which I will get by reading the book. Reviewing the film on its own, though, I would say that more background information was needed to give the characters more depth and bring meaning to their actions.

The cinematography and music are stunningly gorgeous and work very well together. The camera frames perfect shots and lingers on them for awhile, and it’s a feast for the eyes. This is probably the strongest aspect of the film.

I was thinking that there was something about Norwegian Wood that reminded me of 500 Days of Summer. After thinking and reading a little, it’s one of the main thematic ideas: that endings always lead to new beginnings. An appropriate lesson for a coming-of-age story where childhood must end for adulthood to begin.


Post a Comment