It will be the film always known as the one that brought Brad and Angelina together… or the film that split Brad and Jennifer up. It’s not that much of a shame, because it’s not a brilliant a film.
The premise? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a husband and wife who are both assassins, though neither suspect the other. Then they both go out on the same kill and ruin the job for each other, and not long after that, they are both trying to kill each other.
What worked? The couple in therapy, bored with each other, then becoming attracted again once blood lust was in the air. The running and shooting and explosions were very good. The concept was pretty ace, and there was some awesome technology. It was fun, and I do like my action with some comedy, so tick and tick.
Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced woman who is kind of looking for love. Her work is as a freelance masseuse, lugging her table from house to house for work. At a party with her mate Sarah (Toni Collette) and Will*** (Ben Falcone), she meets a new client, Marianne (Catherine Keener) and then a bit later, meets Albert (James Gandolfini). Despite not feeling immediately attracted to this large man, she goes on a date, and pretty soon, things are going well. But the **spoiler alert** she discovers that Marianna is Albert’s ex-wife. Rather than informing either of this, she pretends that she doesn’t know, and uses Marianne’s complaining to define her relationship, and things get pretty nasty.
I can see why the film was as popular as it was, despite the really crap poster. It was real; things like the first kiss between Eva and Albert is awkward, but in a real, romantic and lovely manner. I wasn’t over keen on any of it, really. There were funny moments, and I suppose the characters were mostly likable, but I just didn’t feel any real investment, and couldn’t care less about what happened to them. I wanted to; I just didn’t. But geez, it was nice hear Toni Collette speaking Aussie.
Enough Said was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
Germany, 1958. A teenager falls ill on the way home from school and is helped by a woman. He is quite ill, and kept in bed for several months. When he recovers, he returns to her with flowers and unexpectedly, they fall into a romantic encounter. They spend a summer together, with him reading to her between lovemaking, and then she disappears. He does not see her again until, as a law student, he attends a trial of a group of female SS guards who were charged with crimes committed during the war and she is one of them. He struggles to control how he feels about this; how he can reconcile the picture of the woman he loved with the actions she committed in her past.
As happens with me sometimes in films, one thing bothered me from the start and it took a lot of work for me to overcome it. That was, the accents. The film is set in Germany, but is an American made film. Consequently, it was not made in German; however, did everyone need to speak English with German accents? I had an issue recently with the mini-series The Spies of Warsaw for finding it difficult to know who was from which country, so perhaps it is contradictory of me to have a problem with this, but I do. I did eventually get over this.
I found this a very interesting film that raises a lot of questions and debate. When you get into a relationship or even just a friendship with someone, it is not possible to know their whole past. But when part of their past is as huge as this, how would you bring it up? How does a country that has been through the atrocities that Germany did during the war ever get past it? What happens to all of the soldiers, guards, whoever who committed the crimes after the war, and what about everyone else? This was a superb film, with strong performances, especially Kate Winslet as the lover/criminal, David Kross as the young lover and Ralph Fiennes as the lover as an adult.
The Reader won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Kate Winslet) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay and Best Achievement in Cinematography.