Ed Almost Made Cholera Sexy. Almost.

January 21st

I saw The Painted Veil yesterday and got to the theater a wee bit late. Actually, I got to the only theater in all of Phoenix that shows small films like this 10 minutes before the film started, certain I wouldn’t have any problem getting a seat. I’ve done this a time or two and it is typically me and 20 senior citizens from Paradise Valley kicking back to watch a movie that will more than likely receive an Oscar nod and therefore doesn’t have a special effects budget. I fit in all too well with this crowd, especially when I bring my knitting to keep me company until they dim the lights.
Boy, was I wrong yesterday. Every gray hair in Maricopa County was at the theater, with their friends from Iowa in tow. When I got the tickets the clerk said I’d more than likely be sitting in the front row. Eh, how bad could it be?
I sat down in a nice seat in the very back of the theater and thought, “Ha! This isn’t so bad. That silly clerk didn’t know what she was talking about.” Ten minutes later I realized Helen Mirren is not, in fact, in 1930s China (but England, yes, and I hear that movie is quite good), I made it into the right theater after my movie had already started. And guess where we found the only open seats?
Front row. Neck-crunching, mind-boggling, perspective-altering front row.
The movie was good. Not great, but good. The Chinese countryside was pretty spectacular, off-setting the mediocre storyline. While I enjoyed the public health edge — Ed Norton is a bacteriologist fighting a cholera epidemic — I did not like the ending. It was far too tidy. Naomi Watts is gorgeous and quite believable. Ed? He is a wounded pup with some great lines, but unfortunately they are given in a horrible British accent. Ed as a Brit is a bit hard to swallow. He’s so talented, but so American. Then again, how can you top Fight Club?

Three out of five bananas, absoloodle.


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8 Responses

  1. Painted Veil looks good, but The Queen was awesome. Dh went to China a few years ago to research a film on an American doctor who lived in China working on the syphilis epidemic. This guy, Dr. George Hatem was acutally Mao’ dr. He aparently had a problem with VD. The producer of this film that dh wrote hasn’t made it yet. Perhaps if Painted Veil does well more Chinese films will be made. Sure would be nice for us!

  2. after mentioning norton, you said ‘they’ are given a horrible british accent. actually watts was born & raised in england. he mum still lives in england. she only moved to australia when she was 14. her accent was on target.

    watch for her to have an east european accent in cronenberg’s eastern promises in september (think meryl streep in sophie’s choice).

  3. Ed is so dang sexy. Gotta catch that movie. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  4. I thought I was the only one who went to these kind of movies with the gray heads…..:)

  5. We used to see art house movies. Now we have kids. *sigh* And I watched Dances with Wolves from the front row – all three hours of it. Talk about a perspective altering view – of Kevin Costner’s ass. 😉

  6. I agree, Naomi Watts can really act. Ed? He was a total milktoast and there was no character evolution there. Not the right person for the role. And also, I loathed his character; he deserved to die (harsh I know).

  7. I saw a trailer for this before “Volver” (also at the same movie theater with all the gray hairs) and thought, “Uh, errr….Ed Norton in a period movie?”

    He’s way better as angry asshole dude – like in The Italian Job.

    Well, looks like this movie won’t be added to my non-moving Netflix queue. Cheers for the review.

  8. hmmm. i wondered whether this would be good. i like ed. and NW is okay. saw the Queen though on my flight, and it was okay, but since i thought it was supposed to be about her, when it was really about the whole diana death scandal, i was a tad disappointed.