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  Publicity Stills of "My Blueberry Nights"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Drama/Romance
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Cast: Norah Jones, Jude Law, David Strathairn, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 27 December 2007



A beautiful young woman on the treacherous road to love…

"My 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.

Norah 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.

Set 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.

It’s 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.

In 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.

However 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.

Take 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.

The 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.

Similarity 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.

The 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.

Perhaps 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 changes.

Movie Rating:

(My Blueberry Nights has Wong Kar Wai’s trademark all over but sadly, this pie is becoming stale)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. Lust Caution (2007)

. The Holiday (2006)

. Breaking And Entering (2006)

. Closer (2005)



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