Monday, March 05, 2007

Two Films

For years and years I’ve missed out on films – I have seen lots and lots of theatre but have never seen as many films as I would have liked.

I am trying to catch up. Well, a bit, anyway.

In the last few days I have seen two films: the big Hollywood film The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, and the BAFTA-winning British film Red Road, directed by Andrea Arnold and starring Kate Dickie and some other excellent actors of whom you’ve never heard.

I would never have gone to see The Devil Wears Prada in the cinema: the title put me right off as I have no interest in fashion as all those who have knowledge of my comprehensive range of inexpensive jeans will testify. I only saw it at all because Gareth had acquired it on DVD. However, it’s a well-made, funny, glossy film with an excellent performance from Meryl Streep as editor of a fashion magazine with some resemblance to Vogue. Her dismissive “That’s all” at the end of every interview with her employees was gloriously chilling.

But The Devil Wears Prada is not exactly, er, deep, in any way at all – it’s not fair to expect it to be – it’s a couple of hours of entertaining froth, with perhaps a bit more to it if you happen to recognise the famous fashion designers who as listed in the credits “As Himself” at the end.

But it won’t stay with me, unlike Red Road, which is as far from it as could possibly be imagined. Comparing these two films is like comparing an immaculately-coiffured poodle at Crufts with a wolf.

Red Road is a darkly thrilling film set in Glasgow. Glossy it ain’t. The acting is so naturalistic you feel you’re watching a documentary – but a particularly gripping one. It has a really good story, which is superbly told and paced and avoids the predictable. I thought before I saw it that it might be “arty” and hence difficult to follow, or too dark to see what was going on. That’s not the case at all.

Red Road’s far more disturbing viewing – but it’s the one I’ll be watching again.


Blogger Silverback said...

I agree with you about 'Prada' as I'd never have paid to see it at the cinema but enjoyed it on DVD rental in the US.
I've just added 'Red Room' to my rental list here and so can blame you if it's a load of tosh. Actually I'm glad to have got a title to add as I've a free 3 month rental period and have run out of movies to pick, so feel free to recommend more, Mrs Parkinson.

Oddly enough, on my rental site, it lists the star as one Kate Duchene.......a completely different actress. Course it's wrong.

6:06 pm  
Blogger John said...

unless you're looking up Red Room on your rental site, Kate Duchene could well star in that film!

11:50 pm  

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