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December 01, 2006

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if you saw the 1934 version as i did not long ago on tcm, you would know that it was about as faithful to the novel as the original pro-war quiet american film was faithful to the anti-war novel. this was much more faithful, & that includes the beautiful & justifiably oscar-nominated naomi watts w/those gorgeous blue eyes. garbo was hype, unlike norma schearer.

as film experience, all other reviewers have been positive about painted veil in general & naomi watts in particular, & many have predicted another oscar nomination for watts. there is always one in the crowd.

Um, I didn't say this was less faithful to the novel than the '34 version. And I think Watts is good in the film.

As for "all other reviewers," the only other review on Rotten Tomatoes is also negative. And anyway, what does the majority opinion have to do with my own?

well, i was talking about other reviewers like those on imdb, google, film experience & variety labelling pv a contender. i have posted over 10 reviews on my sites. i always end up w/more than rotten tomatoes--pro & con.

the film experience example can be compared w/slant WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST POSITIVE REVIEWS OF NAOMI THAT HAS EVER BEEN GIVEN. they both hated her in her oscar-nominated 21grams while they thought her performance in md was one of the best in history. they like this because her performance is restrained. you liked her in 21grams for the opposite reason. you seem to be what i have called (in a popular culture conference) a 21grams-firster. nat rogers & jason clark are md-firster. i could find no review of md on rt from you.

ULTIMATELY I CARE MOST ABOUT WATTS'S PERFS.

(Editor's Note: This comment was edited)

It has also been suggested Diana Rigg be nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress - I am very happy about that!
Where did you get to see the film?
In England it seems we are not to get it until April 2007.
As for other reviews until this one I have only read very positive ones and, yours isn't that bad. It's great to get all opinions!

Pattonjr5,

Note, first of all, that I edited your above comment because if people want to read Slant's review, they're free to go to Slant. But I'm not interested in reprinting large sections of Jason's (good) review here.

Regarding Watts - I think she's very good in 21 Grams, and I think she's fantastic in Mulholland Drive. I also think she's good in this (as is Norton).

As Barry noted, my review isn't scathing. I just think the film - which I saw at a press screening, like virtually everything else I see - is so-so.

And as for Diana Rigg - I can't see her getting a nomination, but then again, what do I know? The Academy is an unpredictable beast...

i see and agree this is actually not a bad review. at least it's positive on the acting though unfortunately it's not enough said and rather too much concern seems to have been given to commenting on the "cultural insensitivity" of the film. but what actually does that mean and do viewers in general care?

the fact is with an overall C+ rating, and with very little said about, let alone emphasizing, the good acting, sites like the rotten tomatoes would invariably categorized the review as rotten, and i don't see that is fair enough to the actors in particular naomi watts who has consistently given outstanding performances in films but is also consistently being over-looked and snubbed for the major awards. we all know many of the voters of these awards are influenced heavily by the critics' reviews and their ratings.

My review is simply my analysis of the film. The things I chose to concentrate on are the things I felt were most important. If you think more weight should have been given to the performances, that's fine, but it wasn't what I decided to focus on.

As for RT and awards, I can't - and don't - write my reviews with those concerns in mind. I didn't decide that anything under a B- should be negative on RT; they did. And I don't care about awards, so whether my review helps or hurts someone's chances in no way influences what I write.

you are the one that mentioned the only other review on slant, not me. i don't know why you think rotten tomatoes has the only reviews worth mentioning.

besides, you say you liked naomi in mulholland dr, but i clicked on 'm' & there was no review for mulholland dr. so as far as i know, you liked naomi watts in 21grams better than anything else. (you might say otherwise, but even nat rogers hardly mentioned watts in his md review, but he ONLY said later he loved it--like you. as a retired academic, i prefer original documents.)

of course you should not pay attention to what other reviewers (or we) say, but you mentioned rt first, not me or steandric. it is fine that you care most about the film. i care most about actors & directors.
after one sees a film, it's dead. an actor's or director's career usually moves on & often gets better w/experience (like many things in life). compare watts's career after mulholland dr & her friend kidman's career after the hours. of course her friend gets the biggest bucks.

well we know there're 26 alphabets therefore anything not below M- should be positive 8-)

Pattonjr5,

I don't think RT has the "only" reviews worth mentioning; I just find it to be a handy compendium of online/print reviews.

As for Mulholland Drive, the reason there's no review of the film on this site is because I started it in late 2003, years after MD came out. And I haven't revisisted the film since the blog began.

patton, chill out. This is Nick's opinion after all. Comparing Kidman's work to Watts is neither here nor there, they both do good work even with Kidman going on to do silly things like Bewitched or The Stepford Wives. Kidman's career after The Hours have been successful even with Bewitched and The Interpreter. Dogville, Birth, Fur are 3 of the most incredible performances out there, The Human Stain, Cold Mountain are not to be laughed at, either. Her performance in Dogville and Birth made the top 20 of the Village Voice poll despite her not featuring on the award circuit at all, these 2 movies are still being debated out there and that's to the strength of their success. Fur is going that way, too, so what was your point?

As for Kidman getting bigger bucks, of course. She opened TSW, Bewitched and The Interpreter to $20m and above despite the awful reviews of the first 2, TI opened at no.1 in 8 different countries at the same time last year even though they weren't good enough to get the legs to be successful but worldwide both TI and Bewitched made their money back and were both in the top 50 movies of the year both domestically and worldwide. For those movies who fail domestically, the studios know that they will get their money back when the worldwide numbers come in. Even with King Kong, I am not sure much people noticed Watts and that's the difference. You put Watts in the big/hyped movies like The Ring, King Kong and people will go see it but can she open any of her movies in the States or elsewhere, I don't see much proof of that, do most people go see her or love the movies like when Sarah Michelle Gellar acts in horror movies.

Kidman may not be everyone's cup of tea but her work, projects outside mainstream fare are always exhilarating even when they fail. Her non-mainstream fares are not just indies or small budgeted-movies, they are conceptually different and ask more of the audience. This year alone, there were more than 4 film critics, historians who discussed her work in great detail in major publications, analysed it. Watts is a great actress but she will need more to get as much bucks as Kidman or even people discussing her work outside of her performances.

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