Sunday, 27 June 2010

Wong Kar-Wai's Blueberry Nights

When Lizzie (Norah Jones) discovers her ex boyfriend has moved on with another woman, she winds up at a cafe by owned Jeremy (Jude Law) who provides a sympathetic ear and blueberry pie. Deciding on a new career in a new town, Lizzie gets out of New York and heads south to Memphis and onto Las Vegas, swapping her sad story for someone else's - a depressed, alcoholic cop (David Strathairn) who can't accept the separation from his wife (Rachel Weisz); and a young woman (Natalie Portman) who works out her complex, strained relationship with her father by gambling...

Another meditation from Wong Kar-Wai on the impossibility of relationships, 2007's My Blueberry Nights is like the lip-smacking title, a treat. Its stylish, sexy and full of regular Wong Kar-Wai hooks - food, music (listen out for a mournful harmonica refrain of the main theme from In the Mood for Love), dazzlingly shot by Darius Khondji, (while Kar-Wai's perennial cameraman Christopher Doyle was away shooting a Gus Van Sant film) and featuring the director's signiture motion-blur technique, lending the film a dreamlike ambiance. Performances across the board are excellent - Norah Jones is impressive and like her music, is low-key and natural, while Natalie Portman in particular is marvellous to watch.

Some critics greeted the film with a lukewarm reception complaining that the film didn't have any of the playful, free-wheeling style of Wong-Kar Wai's previous films, and while there's some truth to this - there's no Ashes of Time style narrative trickery at work here, My Blueberry Nights is a thousand times more cool and sophisticated than anything currently coming out of Hollywood and for this alone, the film is one to savor.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure this one would be up my alley - but one never knows...