Most music video directors seem stylish but often lacking in brain or ability to tell an effective story (Spike Jonze, David Fincher, etc.), but Jonathan Glazer is different and not stylish in those old MTV ways, but instead something that's both modern and classic.
Sexy Beast (2000) -- Jonathan Glazer's first movie is what a Steven Soderbergh or Guy Ritchie movie would be if they were any good. Ben Kingsley is what makes the movie really good, however. He creates one of his most interesting characters and delivers his dialogue like he's in a Harold Pinter play.
Birth (2004) -- This movie didn't get as much attention as it should have; maybe people were turned off by Nicole Kidman getting sexy with a ten-year-old, or possibly this one was unfairly lumped in with any number of "creepy kid" movies that were coming out at the time (Cameron Bright did, in fact, play another creepy kid in Godsend earlier the same year). Whatever the case, I hope people eventually re-discover this movie because it's really new and smart, turning many standard "thriller, mystery, dramatic" conventions on its head throughout. Nicole Kidman makes us remember how good she actually is (during one scene, she changes the color of her face slowly, by force of will alone), and the supporting cast is fantastic as well, especially Lauren Bacall, Anne Heche (you heard me), and one of my favorites, Peter Stormare. By the end of the movie, what started as a stylish mystery eventually evolves into something really heartbreaking with a handful of images you'll remember for days after.
Copyright (c) Apr 2006 - Oct 2007 by Rusty Likes Movies