340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

If it's creepy, we'll rent it.

I hadn't seen any of de Niro's pictures since 2001's The Score, but this summer C. and I inadvertently played a little catch-up: we saw Godsend, Meet The Fockers and Hide And Seek.

An atmospheric thriller set amidst the fall foliage of upstate New York, Hide And Seek also stars Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen and Elisabeth Shue (whom I also hadn't seen in a few years, not since her tour-de-force as a nuclear physicist or whatever in Hollow Man). de Niro and Fanning play off each other well and their mutual alienation is totally believable and sympathetic: he clearly became a father late in life and relied entirely upon his wife to raise the child. Now a widower, he and his young daughter have nothing to say to one another. Fanning is great (of course), but I can't wait until she's old enough to break away from the precocious/vulnerable binary she's been milking since I Am Sam. de Niro hits all the right notes, but it's an easy song and I'm looking forward to the end of this 'coasting phase' (Meet the Fockers, Shark Tale, Godsend, Analyze That) and start doing some real work again.

To her credit, Shue keeps it simple and thus plausible. Janssen also does well (especially considering her character's sketched so loosely): she delivers a compelling, believable performance as a family friend balancing her empathy and personal investment against her professional instincts.

I was pleasantly suprised by the movie and didn't predict the "twist" ending until well into the third act, which is kinda what I want in a whodunit: I like figuring out the secret right before the protagonist does. Overall, a worthwhile rental.


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