As noted by Terry below, I finally got around to my second viewing of the great Lost in Translation this weekend. Although this screening was marred by Loud Talkers all around us (for instance, after a shot that emphasized Scarlett Johansson’s vanishingly modest belly: “She’s pregnant!”), it was still amazing. In fact, this time around it made me cry (that’s for you, Lizzie). And it certified my disappointment in 21 Grams.
21 Grams is the kind of bad movie that gets good reviews. I’m sure it will get more of them when it opens nationally later this month. Why? It is wonderful to look at; its haunting soundtrack is used with dead-on precision; it gets fantastic performances from Benicio del Toro and Naomi Watts (the film’s deliberately grainy look heightens the weathered beauty of Watts’s features; half its emotional effect comes from just looking at her); and for a good hour or so, it holds your curiosity at highest attention. Also, it has one stock scene–in which bad news is delivered–that is one of the most affecting of its kind I’ve ever seen. So the people who made this film really know what they’re doing. They’ve got the chops. But they’re playing a feeble tune.
The director, Alejandro Gonz