Saturday, October 22, 2005

Elizabethtown

A little cliché, a little slow at times, a little recycled, Elizabethtown still manages to be an emotionally fulfilling film. In the shadow of death, Drew learns about life. He also learns about the nature of failure, love, and freedom. Elizabethtown is one step away from being a great movie, without quite making it there, but nonetheless does a great job of reminding you why you love life in the first place.

To be free is partly the idea that one is not burdened by the expectations of others. Drew, with a little help from his new friend Claire, contemplates the overrated nature of "success" and discovers the weight of following what "they" expect. Somewhere in the mess of spontaneous encounters with Claire, getting lost in his otherworld family and their Southern hospitality, and his aimless mental wandering Drew manages to cast aside the expectations of they. In doing so he discovers love, life, and freedom.
Carina Chocano of the LA Times says of Elizabethtown (click here for review):

"The movie gets lost sometimes, wandering down several stray paths to nowhere, only to suddenly change course and wind up in an unexpectedly exhilarating place. In this sense, it's the opposite of the quick commute of the average commercial movie. It's a meandering road trip instead."

It may be a recipe for feel-good mediocrity, but it is a feeling that I think we all need to get from a good movie every now and again. To walk away with a rejuvenation of spirit is a good feeling. At the same time, even if Elizabethtown doesn't meet the greatness test, it surely has smartness to it, as Chocano eloquently expresses, that pushes this movie beyond the average feel-good self-discovery film. Elizabethtown
will remind you about the true pleasure of life, the important people in life, and what it means to be alive.

Finally, let's not forget the soundtrack. The music is pristinely woven into the heart of this movie. A good movie isn't complete without a good soundtrack, and Elizabethtown uses rock and folk music to its full advantage. Not only is each song wisely chosen, but each song is perfectly placed to add an extra degree of complexity of contemplation and emotion. Here is a soundtrack that weaves itself with compelling visuals, and one that you might just find fulfilling even without the moving pictures.

1 comment:

Linda Johnson said...

Pops shows why it's tops with tour to China
Cincinnati Pops violinist Lois Reid Johnson posed for a photo, and took a few of her own, on the Great Wall of China outside Beijing on Thursday.
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