November 8, 2004

What's It All About?

photo_037.jpegOkay, this picture at left is the most craptacular thing we've tried to capture with our camera phone yet but it is supposed to be a souvenir of seeing our dear friend Ilana's name scrolling past in the credits for the most recent Jude Law winter release, Alfie. A very exciting thing to see someone you know in the credits, even if its pretty low on the list, hovering somewhere below Craft Services but above the musical track listings. It's also pretty exciting to the Cinecultist to see Alfie finally in our local theaters because our beloved nabe, the Eee Vee hosted some of the exterior shooting last winter. While the film's overall production design of New York looks more like England standing in for the quaint West Village/Meatpacking areas, rather than our less than picturesque, pungent smells of garbage in the streets Eee Vee, we still caught a few glimpses of what looked like our 'hood. It's like seeing your kid in the Christmas pageant dressed as the last goat on the left, you can't help but swell with pride. However, when one gets past the whole "look there's our kid!" knee-jerk response, is Alfie actually worth recommending? We're not entirely sure.

Certainly, Jude Law is winning as the cad about town limo driver, Alfie Elkin, despite the number of times CC had to put our head in our hands over the self-absorbed, deluded, and at times close-minded things spewing from his confessional mouth. In the first five minutes alone, he tells the audience he's calls his penis "Big Ben" and it goes down hill from there. Alfie wants to be Dick Lit via the Sex and the City model, with metrosexual consumption alternating with Penthouse letters scenarios. Except that no matter how self flagellating Alfie's pity party becomes as the film winds down, he never finds salvation. This makes for a supremely unsatisfying, though perhaps "realistic" downbeat ending. We mean, lordy, even Carrie got her Mr. Big in the end, but Alfie gets bupkiss. CC doesn't feel sorry for him exactly, but it still seems unfair by Hollywood standards.

As for the other elements in the film, Nia Long is smoking, as is Susan Sarandon, and for those into the decidedly small niche market of aging Italian American starlets, rest assured that Marisa Tomei looks great too. Her final outfit inspired CC to go heavy on the upper lid mascara and to look around for a kicky, tomato red mod coat with over sized buttons. Though as far as Sienna Miller goes, the current object of Mr. Law's real life affections, we don't get the attraction. Sure, she looks like a sex kitten with those smokey eyes and those swishy long bangs, but there doesn't seem to be much there there. Maybe she read Proust in her trailer between takes, CC couldn't tell you for sure, but she seems dopey on screen. We predict flash in the pan for Ms. Miller, though her more talented paramour should continue his rise to further fame.

The soundtrack's is pretty good too. Make like the Cinecultist and download via iTunes the film's title track, "Alfie" by Joss Stone, which we added to our growing list of kooky covers.

Posted by karen at November 8, 2004 8:40 AM