Great piece of Cinema. It captures a style in telling stories that I guess we're losing over the years: can't tell if it's a good or a bad thing, but it was really nice to rediscover that taste in such a well-crafted film. (One thing I didn't like was some pretty evident chroma keying, that didn't fit at all with the otherwise classy mise-en-scène.) And Cotillard really is a star, impossibly beautiful, and talented.
The constant zig zag between complete foreboding and then theatrical flourishes that have an almost magical realist energy is incredibly engaging. Everything that's here, I love, and it's visually breathtaking in a wonderfully understated way. Still, I wish this had a bit more room to breathe, a bit more connective tissue, a bit more characterization, a bit more everything. Falls just short of being a masterpiece.
Like a lot of his films, one more time this one proves that James Gray is one of the greatest contemporary American directors. Recovering the story of an immigrant and a tough love, Gray manages to be incisive and mirror the characteristics of American cinema in the images, in the plot and in the ending of a good film.
Gray's films with co-screenwriter Richard Menello aren't as strong, lacking dramatic power until the great final shot. As like their Two Lovers, it's an unmemorable and dramatically indifferent buildup to an inevitable but finally effectively emotional and dramatically rich conclusion. This is as much due to the story as the simplistic characterization. Gray is often at his dramatic best when he writes alone.
Apesar do contexto histórico bastante dramático e que facilmente reflecte o lado hediondo e cruel do ser humano o filme não consegue puxar o suficiente provavelmente pelo desempenho dos actores principais. Além disto a imagem meio amarelado, talvez por se tratar de um filme que retrata uma época passada, aos meus olhos dava um ar de falsidade, amadorismo até.
James Gray is still James Gray : a model of intelligent classicism where the mise en scène is always efficient (instead of being spectacular). It somehow often evokes the big names of litterature : Shakespeare before, maybe Dostoyevski here. Not a big fan of the casting nor the acting in this case but the murder scene and of course the last shot are to be remembered !
Ambitious, but ultimately fell short of my expectations. The good? Beautiful sets and camera work - a highly detailed homage to the golden age of Hollywood cinema. The bad? Tepid, plodding story - characters that fail to develop one way or another. Too long for the content at hand.