Kristin Scott Thomas and Harrison Ford
17, 2000] Kristin
Scott Thomas and Harrison Ford star in this lengthy psycho-drama,
which takes place in a variety of locations including Washington
DC, New Hampshire and Miami, Florida. The direction is seamless,
the photography exquisite, but the acting is somewhat
Van Der Brock, played by Harrison Ford, and Kay Chandler, Kristen
Scott Thomas lead very different lives. Dutch is a DC cop who
investigates other cops along with his partner Alcee (played by
Charles S. Dutton – "Aliens III"); Kay is a
congresswoman attempting seeking re-election. Their lives come
into contact with each other over the tragic and suspicious deaths
of their spouses, who die together in a plane crash. As the story
unfolds, Dutch and Kay learn that their deceased mates were having
an affair. Although the plot goes there, the story is not about
the affair itself but about how Dutch and Kay find peace and
resolve the betrayal and cope with this great loss.
forewarned this is a long movie, and is about a difficult subject.
The flick toys with the idea that affairs are normal and natural
and even desirable in the course of marriage and relationships.
One female character says of her own marriage, "Without an
occasional romantic fling I would really feel old."
Hearts" doesn’t end on this note and even goes so far as to
say that relationships need to be built appropriately and
Scott Thomas and Harrison Ford were wonderful to see on the screen
again (I usually can’t wait to rent a new Harrison Ford movie),
but they were less than believable in their portrayal of these
characters. Dutch Van Der Brock was a man of few words—a grunt
here and there with an outwardly rough demeanor. Kay Chandler was
a perky, chatty, over-the-top character who wanted to forget about
their problems. Conversely, he wanted to know every detail.
director was successful in throwing these two characters together
and contrasting their personalities, but Ford seemed forced and
plastic, and Thomas never really warmed up and closed the gap
between herself and Ford. Her last scene was the only believable
scene for her character, but was ruined when Ford donned his fake
sarcastic Indiana Jones grin and invited her to permanently share
his life (don’t worry – I’m not giving away anything you
wouldn’t see in the previews).
movie gets its R rating from its mature exploration of a sensitive
subject. There are the opening and closing scenes depicting sex
between Dutch and Kay, but not the act and no nudity. Language is
not largely a problem in this movie, but there is bloodshed and
recommendation is that there is no reason for teenagers under the
age of 18 to even be in the room while this movie is showing. In
general, I liked the story, survived the acting and hope that the
next time the part will be written for Harrison Ford’s talents.
I give this movie 2½ stars out of 5.
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Gabriel Byrne, Patricia Arquette, Jonathan Pryce
Goldwyn Mayer Production1999
17, 2000] A
fascinating mix of old icons and pop culture, "Stigmata"
captivated my sense of adventure, mysticism and spirituality. This
movie is rich in visual and auditory stimuli (you’ll want to
turn the stereo on to hear this one), and genuinely captures the
clash of new values versus old traditions. This movie is about a
search for truth.
Andrew Kernan (Gabriel Byrne), a scientist, is sent by the Vatican
on missions to faraway places to debunk the miraculous. He is
usually particularly successful. And then it happens: a miracle he
cannot explain away. A Jesuit priest dies in a tiny Brazilian
village, and miraculous signs break out in the tiny church where
his body lay in state. A statue bleeds from the eyes, doves appear
out of thin air, and water droplets drip upward (this scene kinda
gave me the willies). In the midst of what seemed to be
supernatural activity, a boy from the streets quietly steals the
rosary which was placed in the coffin and later sells it on the
streets to a tourist for a small sum. And so the story begins.
tourist sends the rosary to her daughter, Frankie Paige (Patricia
Arquette), a thoroughly modern young woman in New York. And the
miraculous travels with it.
is a disturbing story of faith, the miraculous and the desire of
the powerful to avoid truth and change. This movie confronts
unbelief and unfaith and tears at the unfounded tradition and
recklessness of the entrenched religious powers of Christianity.
The conclusion of this movie is startling. The message of this
movie is powerful.
has played a variety of roles in the films I have seen him in, and
is characterized in my memory as being a dark character.
Conversely, in "Stigmata," he convincingly plays the
bearer of light and goodness and truth. Arquette typifies the
modern agnostic and is cast perfectly as the afflicted in this
film. Pryce plays the dark character, Cardinal Daniel Houseman, a
role he was born for.
film depicts graphic scenes of bloody mutilation and violence, as
well as containing a smattering of language and sexual innuendo,
easily earning its R rating. Although it approaches the boundaries
of the indecent, it does it to make a point and make clear its
message. I recommend that you ship the children off to grandma’s
house before popping this one into the VCR (not appropriate for
those under 16) and be ready to have a family discussion with
teenagers after it’s over.
was thankfully surprised at the message of this film, and fascinated
by its story, filming and direction. I enjoyed Byrne’s
participation, and found myself being sympathetic to Arquette in this
film. I recommend this film with some reservations, and give it 3½
stars (out of 5).
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