Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Movie Review: "It's All About Love" (2003)

There was one thought that led me to buy this DVD.

"My mom likes Joaquin Phoenix, so I guess I'll let her watch this."

There's a whole other back story on the circumstances around my buying this movie in my other blog. However, that's not the point of today's review. Thomas Vinterberg's "It's All About Love" was never a 'talked about' movie. It was never controversial nor attention grabbing. However, do you remember watching a movie one time, without knowing what to expect, and just get pleasantly surprised by how well put together it was and couldn't wait to recommend it to friends? Well, I'm telling you right now, this is that kind of movie.

John (Joaquin Phoenix) is a young Polish man flying over to New York to have his soon to be ex-wife Elena (Clair Danes), a Polish superstar figure skater, sign their divorce papers. As he reaches the airport he is greeted by two mysterious men who ask him to follow them. Then things start to get weird. Although very polite, the two men ask very intruding questions and to add to the bizaare-ness of it all stoicly ask John to "step over" and ignore the dead man lying on the foot of an airport escalator as they were going down on it. People die on the streets everyday. It's a common thing. Soon enough at this moment we realize that we had just been sucked into a Hitchcockian nightmare. More bizzarre happenings abound this film which I am not going to spoil for you.

As you can tell, this movie is a mystery /love story with classic elements of suspense and an avant garde metaphysical concept. There is nothing special really about the way it's shot or the method of storytelling, Vinterberg manages to stay loyal to traditional filmmaking techniques, pacing and old fashioned suspense cuts. The story of a young divorcing couple finding their way back to love is not a new idea, but adding metaphysics and cosmic imbalance in a world so jaded just makes this film so fresh and new.

Well the less you know about it the better. I think this will be shown in theaters next week or January. After you do, explain to me why Ugandans can fly....

Rocketboy's Rating: **** (4 out of 5)


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