Director: Wong Kar Wai
Cast: Norah Jones, Jude Law, David Strathairn,
Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: GV
Opening Day: 27 December 2007
REVIEW OF "MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS" OFFICIAL MOVIE SOUNDTRACK
A beautiful young woman on the treacherous road to love…
Blueberry Nights" is the new film from one of the world's
most sought-after directors, Wong Kar Wai. It's a magnificent
love story starring multi-Grammy award winner Norah Jones
in her movie debut along with a "A-list" cast of
Academy Award winners and nominees including Jude Law, David
Strathairn, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman.
Jones plays a sensual, alluring young woman who sets out on
an unforgettable journey of discovery in pursuit of true love.
In heartbreakingly beautiful locations and classic Route 66
atmospheric diners, Wong Kar Wai's captivating heroine encounters
a series of enigmatic characters that help her on her quest.
against New York's magical cityscape and the stunning vistas
of America's legendary Route 66, the celebrated director's
first English language picture embraces his signature elegance
and originality that made "Happy Together," "In
the Mood for Love" and "2046" must-see movies
all around the world.
Short Movie Review:
A different venue, a different language and yet still broaching
on same subject matter that felt like it’s veering off
into copying the director’s own previous movies. While
this Blueberry is packed with talented actors and competent
cinematographer to replace Christopher Doyle, Wong Kar Wai’s
blueberry nights lack the freshness and the slow complex buildup
in characters that used to make his movies great.
Long Movie Review:
Director Wong Kar Wai (WKW) has a number of finely crafted
movies under his belt in pertaining to that question above.
Happy Together was about how one man trying his best to forget
his lover while being left stranded in Argentina. Chung King
Express and Ashes of Time followed a few protagonists in getting
over their heartbreaks by indulging in silly or weird antics.
There are more examples but I am sure you get the picture.
undeniable that this auteur, in his whimsical style of directing,
had somehow managed to find the heart of the subject and very
often left a lasting impression on his gloomy yet beautiful
take of the matters of the heart.
his trail of movies, he left a distinctive trademark that
makes his films stood out uniquely from others and he himself
became well loved by many, especially in the arty circuit.
Subsequently any directors that made movies in similar manner
or subject manner were often accursed of copying WKW’s
style and often brushed off as a wannabe.
as someone who loved his previous Hong Kong films, it felt
that in a strange way, WKW himself is stuck in a rut and end
up copying himself as he runs out of new materials to broach
upon on. One might argue that there is nothing wrong with
doing what one excels in but personally I like to see WKW
break his own mould and try something new altogether. A different
venue and a different race of actors seemly were a good chance
for him to try something new all over but My Blueberry Nights
just showcase WKW moving back to his comfort zone and redoing
what he had already done (and done very well) back in Asia
and with his Asian cast members.
Jude Law’s café owner character, Jeremy and the
café felt like it was a continuation of what Tony Leung’s
character had left off in Chung king Express. His fleeting
romance with Norah Jones’s Elizabeth brought back memories
of Tony Leung and Faye Wong’s bubbling romance over
the café counter.
estranged relationship between Arnie (David Strathairn) and
Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz) invoked the remembrance of the relationship
that Ou-Yang Feng (Leslie Cheung) and Maggie Cheung shared
in Ashes of Time and the same brittle relationship that Leslie
Cheung and Tony Leung shared in Happy Together. Natalie Portman’s
intricate relationship with her father was particularly similar
to Takeshi Kaneshiro’s character in both Fallen Angels
and Chung King Express.
aside, as far as the acting and cinematography for My Blueberry
Nights went, it was pretty solid all over. The wide picturesque
landscape of traveling all over the states of USA was magnificently
captured by Darius Khondgi and the absence of WKW’s
usual partner in crime, cinematographer Christopher Doyle
wasn’t that sorely missed after all.
camera works here also exemplify the sexiness of Jude Law
and Rachel Weisz till it threatens to ooze out from the screen.
The acting capabilities of David Strathairn effortlessly transmitted
the sorrowful emotions within minutes of appearing on screen.
In short, this trio were the right tools for WKW to bring
out the essence of his movie out and was pure delight to watch.
On the other hand, Natalie Portman’s card hustling role
felt too juvenile to be believable and while Norah Jones (bless
her lovely voice and songs but) simply lack the on screen
charisma of singers such as Faye Wong and Björk to make
this whole trip engaging.
the rehash materials are meant for someone who is not exposed
to WKW’s works and My Blueberry Nights was a vehicle
to reach out to the massive untapped market of the English
speaking demographic. My Blueberry Nights could also be meant
for the WKW’s bunch of hardcore fans who still couldn’t
get enough of his musing on that certain subject but I for
one would like to see Mr. Wong take up something new or at
least move away from such familiarity and take up some form
of new venture (perhaps a no brainier action flick or some
another form of love woes that had not be done before). Otherwise
it’s getting quite stale even if the location and language
(My Blueberry Nights has Wong Kar Wai’s trademark all
over but sadly, this pie is becoming stale)
Review by Richard Lim Jr