Many years ago a Cirque du Soleil show saved me from a debilitating blue funk. I had been blindsided by the breakup of a relationship that left me numb. Each day was a struggle to get out of bed and function in the daily routine of life. Planned months prior to all of this, I had tickets to see a Cirque du Soleil show that had been traveling around the country. The performance started with the sound of high pitched chimes randomly ringing. Though I was not in the best frame of mind, I became intrigued with the outrageously colored costumes worn by the performers. We were 20 minutes into the show when a group of clowns took to the stage. Not being a big fan of clowns I started paying more attention to the audience members’ reactions to the skit playing out on stage. Suddenly I was hit with a blast of wind that pressed my curly hair back against my scalp. I turned my gaze back to the stage where a couple of clowns had dragged a huge industrial fan onto a platform. The scene playing out in front of me was a clown trying to maintain his place without the wind machine blowing him off the stage. I was seated directly behind this clown, feeling the effects of the steady wind stream. Two clowns on either side of the fan were pouring confetti in front, creating a blizzard like visual escapade. I burst out with laughter as the confetti whirled pass me; realizing at that very moment, I had forgotten what it felt like to laugh. From that point on I have always had a soft spot inside of me for Cirque du Soleil. If you have never seen a show of theirs, this movie would be the perfect opportunity to experience them. The price of a movie ticket would be a major bargain compared to their live show ticket prices. The story is quite minimal; a young woman at a carnival attempts to save an aerialist when he missed a grab, falling to the earth. The two get sucked into the ground, where they are transported to a different world made up of a series of tents. The woman travels to each tent in search of the missing aerialist. Some of you may have already guessed that each tent was a scene from one of the Cirque shows. There were acts from several of the Las Vegas shows like O and Love. Seeing them in 3D did nothing for me. Honestly it added a weirdness to the acts, dulling some of the magic they usually create. If you have seen a few of their shows already, this movie would not leave a lasting impression on you. The film essentially is a long advertisement for Cirque’s permanent shows. It would have helped if they spent a little more on the story and use the medium of film to enhance the visual experience. Nonetheless I cannot bad mouth Cirque du Soleil for what they did for me so many years ago. And I now have my very own Cirque red and orange souvenir 3D glasses that were given to us at the movie theater.
2 1/4 stars
As I was scrapping the last spoonful of ice cream out of my 2nd container, the Oscar telecast came to a close. Another season of movies fighting their way to the ultimate prize in Hollywood–the Oscar statuette. Overall, I enjoyed the telecast, with its even pacing and shorter than usual acceptance speeches. I am not sure if it was the length of the telecast or the amount of caffeine I consumed from the lovely chocolate creations, donated by my local bakery; but, it seemed as if I needed more bathroom breaks. It was good to see Billy Crystal again. Having him host was like finding a comfortable sweater that was out of fashion, so you would only wear it to the grocery store. Some of his jokes were funny or at least amusing, though the focus group clip did nothing for me. As for the movie stars in attendance, I felt their attire was elegant in a muted way. Though what was up with Angelina’s leg? Did she think her dress was not beautiful enough without thrusting her leg out? Cirque du Soleil did a wonderful piece, though the space of the stage made it look too busy for me. I did not know what to look at first. And so what if their act had nothing to do with the movies, maybe they were there for the cool factor, albeit fifteen years ago. Though I wish the results would have been different, I will continue to seek out those elusive 4 star movies…right after I fill out my application to be a seat filler for next year’s show.