When the emotional aspect is gone, love tends to turn bittersweet. I have seen and been a part of it; where it felt I had newly empty space around my deflated heart. There are some people who can survive in their relationship without the emotional attachment. I am not one of those people. Margot, played by Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine, Wendy and Lucy) and her husband Lou, played by Seth Rogan (Superbad, Funny People); jokingly say torturous things as terms of endearment to each other. On the surface they appear to be a playful couple with varied interests. Their daily lives idly move along, avoiding the highs and lows of emotions. Not until Margot meets the new neighbor, does she acknowledge the empty spaces in her life. I thought Michelle’s role was the better one; I did not quite understand Seth’s character. Also, I find his dramatic roles can only go so far. There were several loose parts to this film, such as the lack of character development. As the film dragged on, I became less interested in the characters. Missing from the roles were assertiveness and drive to the characters’ actions. It seemed as if Margot and Lou were waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Maybe that was the point of this film, but I found it boring. In my experiences, affairs of the heart are rarely sedate. In this bland movie what was needed was more heart.
Only a particular group of people, I believe, would want to see this movie. If you always base your decisions on what your heart feels, even if you sense it may not be the best choice, then you will understand this film. I am the first to admit there have been times where I let my heart sway my actions; I still am an old fashioned romantic. It was easy for me to understand the main character Hester Collyer, incredibly played by Rachel Weisz (The Lovely Bones, The Constant Gardener). Feeling her marriage was not providing her with what she needed, Hester believed she could find passion with the dashing, jet fighter pilot Freddie Page, played by Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Midnight in Paris). The emotional roller coaster ride that Hester rode through this film was perfectly conveyed by Rachel’s acting. This was one of her best performances in my opinion. The movie had a dark, heaviness to it as if each character’s burdens grew heavier over time. Also, the film had an authentic 1950’s London appearance to it. There were no big exciting moments per se, there was drama as the movie moved at a slow pace. By the end of the film I felt drained; that same type of feeling I get when I realize my heart had me invested in a poor relationship.
2 2/3 stars
How did I get to Russia from the comforts of my sofa? I will tell you, by watching this deeply emotional movie. The lead character was 6 year old Russian orphan Vanya Solntsev, played by Kolya Spiridonov (Twilight). His performance was utterly outstanding, able to convey deep emotions with his expressive face and eyes. The story based on true events was about Vanya who lived in an orphanage, where the ultimate dream of each child was to be adopted. Vanya, however, had a different dream when an Italian couple hoped to adopt him and take him back to their home in Italy. Instead, through a surprise turn of events, the determined small orphan sets out to find his real mother, believing her to be alive. The journey he set himself on was an incredible one to watch. I was so moved viewing this DVD; it felt like I was accompanying the small boy as he pushed himself forward, despite being pursued by orphanage employees and the police. Some say the heart is the strongest muscle in our body; after watching this film, I now understand what they mean. Russian/Italian with English subtitles.
3 1/2 stars — DVD