Movies: National Treasure, The Color of Lies, Look at Me, 9 Songs, Code 46

National Treasure (2004) is not really a national treasure of a film but it was better than I expected because Nick Cage always seems to entertain. The plot is far-fetched and veers towards gung-ho patriotism too often for my taste.

The Color of Lies (French, subtitles, 1999) is directed by Claude Chabrol. It involves the murder of a 10-year-old girl and the subsequent investigation to find the killer. Since she was last seen with René, an artist and her art teacher, he becomes the main suspect. And we, the viewers, begin to suspect him too, as the film moves along. The movie is also very much about the relationship of René with his wife, Viviane. I give it 4.5 of 5 stars. It’s very intelligent which is more than can be said for the majority of main-stream American films.

Look at Me (French, subtitles, 2005) is written by Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, directed by Agnès Jaoui, and stars Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri along with Marilou Berry. I blogged about this one here and about another of their films ( Taste of Others) here.

Lolita (Marilou Berry) is a singer, overweight, suffering from lack of self esteem, and craving the attention and/or love of her father. She sings classical works. The father is divorced from Lolita’s mother and has remarried to a beautiful younger woman who often gets mistaken for Lolita’s sister. They have their own child together and butt heads over child-rearing issues. The father is also a famous author and a first-class, self-possessed jerk but Bacri plays the part so well that he’s fun to watch. There’s so much more but read Denby’s New Yorker Review for a better idea than I could give you or just go out and see/rent it. You won’t be disappointed.

9 Songs (2004, directed by Michael Winterbottom) is about a year-long relationship where the couple meets at a concert. In the course of the movie, they attend eight more concerts and the film shows us one song each thus giving us the title. They also have (very explicit) sex nine times. And it’s real sex (not simulated or acted) which makes the movie unique outside of the pron industry. Reviews have not been good with the Google review meter weighing in at 1.9 out of 5 stars. I read Ebert’s review (2.5 out of 5).

Besides the sex and concerts, the guy (Matt) is an ice researcher and flies off to Antartica and we get to see him flying and trekking there. I think it’s a metaphor for the relationship.

Code 46 was also directed by Michael Winterbottom and is a much more enjoyable film starring Tim Robbins. It’s science (speculative) fiction (near future) and has to do with falling in love (by accident) with a close relative because everyone has been cloned and no one knows who their real parents or sisters or brothers or uncles are.

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