Sunday, November 30, 2003

Punch Drunk Love

Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed Punch-Drunk Love, which debuted at Cannes and earned him the Best Director prize. I don't think I've seen any of his other movies (which include Magnolia and Boogie Nights), but after this one I'm gonna have to look into them.

This is one of those small movies which is just about perfect in every way. Jean chose it when she picked up The Fast Runner, so she scores twice in one round. Anderson apparently called it "an art house Adam Sandler film", which is true, but only part of the story. I've seen a few of Sandler's films, and I never knew he could do such an understated, nuanced acting job. His character is messed up, sure, but not the frat boy loser he so often plays.

Emily Watson is wonderful, again in an understated way. The visuals are perfectly united throughout the film, and the arty transitions make the picture more surreal.

I have to close by noting that I must get the song "He Really Needs Me", which was written by Harry Nilsson for the musical movie Popeye and sung by Shelley Duvall. I don't think I'm ready yet to buy the entire Punch-Drunk Love soundtrack to get this one song, so maybe the iTunes Music Store will stock it someday soon. I really like that song.

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