At the risk of sounding absurdly pretentious, I have always secretly believed that there is a difference between a movie and a film. This weekend, I saw one of each.
First, the film. Since watching Marion Cotillard win the Best Actress Oscar for la Vie en Rose (and the clip they showed right before she won), I have wanted to see it. Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not at all sold on the idea that the best movie made in any given year is going to win Best Picture. Hollywood is politics just like everything else. There was something in Cotillard's performance, though, in the little clip right before she won that intrigued me, and I finally watched the whole thing and I must tell you that it left me...breathless. The collage of characters and set pieces, music and color left me beside myself and I thought, this is a film.
I think Cotillard is still in her twenties yet she played Edith Piaf as a girl of twenty and as a dying woman prematurely aged at fifty years old. The emotion and strength that played across her features as she lay in bed, with just her trembling face visible, was powerful stuff. I'm no movie critic so I can't really do it justice, but I can tell you that this was one of the best films of last year and one that I have added to my list of all-time favorites.
And now for the movie. In an effort to beat the heat this afternoon I hit my local cineplex and enjoyed the frosty air and frothy beverage known to the world as Sex and the City. After so much hit-and-miss press I wasn't really sure what to expect other than a nice long respite from the heat advisories and clanging window unit air conditioner. I really must say, though, it was pretty fun. Excessive? Yes (what movie about four women living in NY with non-stop disposable incomes wouldn't be excessive?). But beautiful, silly, wonderful fabulous fun. I am not exaggerating when I say that I laughed, I cried, and I clapped at the end along with the rest of the audience. And I'm not (really that) ashamed to admit it.
[Spoiler alert - read no further unless you've seen the movie]
A few things, though - was Carrie's black leather studded belt overused? I felt like I saw it over and over and over again; Stanford and Anthony? Really? Or am I reaching based on one New Year's Eve kiss? Still, how awesome would that be?; Charlotte bellowing "NO!" at Big while clutching a broken-hearted Carrie to her was just incredible...Kristin Davis can act.