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[personal profile] jencat
 I seem to have been reading a lot of worryingly deep and meaningful stuff recently, but obviously that way lies sheer craziness and thus I tend to stick to burbling instead about the terribly inconsequential things (because, honestly, the escapism and narratives fixes are all that's standing between me and a prescription for antidepressants some days.)  I'm fixated, sometimes, by where the line gets drawn between what matters and what should not - it does not matter, of course, where a word goes in a sentence, or whether you get to use a semi-colon Just So.  But a part of my brain seems to derive so much pleasure from the particular words, and how they fit and do not fit, that I have convinced myself that it must be at least some measure of the entirety of civilisation somehow... and it, is, logically, to  a point.

Hmm, what matters...  that Russell Crowe is officially No Good at picking films any longer.  Having caught the preview of The Next Three Days for free, I'm officially glad not have have paid for the damn tickets.. 

The trouble is, having tried to watch the origina,l Pour Elle/Anything for Her, since, I can see how they basically cut'n'pasted huge entire sections from the French version and remade it shot for shot.  And it mostly doesn't make me cringe in the French flick because, er, it's French.  Different expectations.  The American remake even has better dialogue, in bits, for which I'm thankful Paul Haggis was obviously in Casino Royale snippy romantic mode rather than Crash mode (ohhhh, I did hate Crash).  But the film just doesn't work, as an American everyman crime thriller, plain and simple.   Trouble was, I also then got terribly bored watching the French original after the event, because they followed it so slavishly, there was kinda zero tension.

It's a little hard to explain (and There Will Be Spoilers)... the next best comparison in French cinema is, of course, Tell No One. Perfectly pitched, and a completely awesome surprise (because, who does that?? Who takes an American crime potboiler with an unlikely if compulsive premise, and turns it into a slickly romantic Euro thriller? That ridiculously good looking bloke from Love Me If You Dare, that's who! And good god, I just saw LMIYD described as a comedy.  That's.. kinda messed up.).  I notice no-one has remade TNO (or I haven't really bothered googling enough to check), because it already had massive crossover appeal and made lots of money (even with - gasp! - subtitles!). Having said that, that really hasn't stopped the Millenium Trilogy crowd I guess, but, what the hey.

Going back a little further, I can accept all kinds of craziness in French films (except, maybe, LMIYD, because that made me want to throw things at the screen mostly) because it all goes along with a jaunty Gallic insouciance usually (and Kristin Scott-Thomas shows up to wow us with her flawless accent/acting).  Things like Read My Lips.. I would have a hard time swallowing in a remake, but the original is classically flawed, and wonderful with it.  Funnily enough, I have a terrible soft spot for the Nick Nolte remake of Bob Le Flambeur (The Good Thief), probably because it stayed set in France, and had a nice Euro supporting cast. Let's face it - Taxi remake: non, non, non!!  The Next Three Days.. also not so much.

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Jennifer Howell

July 2015

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