Friday, February 23, 2007
The Departed--I don't enjoy watching violence, which this movie has in abundance, but I am still in awe of this film. Leonardo DiCaprio is a cop pretending to be a crook, while Matt Damon is a crook pretending to be a cop, and Jack Nicholson is toying with them both. This fascinating movie will keep you guessing until the end.
This was also the first movie in which I perceived DiCaprio as an appealing young man, and the way he's evolved from Tigerbeat heartthrob to adult actor is startling. He played a troubled, complex character superbly, and he was definitely the stand-out player in this tale.
Half Nelson--This movie introduces us to a brilliant innercity teacher, Dan Dunne, who has a very unfortunate drug problem. It's a tragic circling of the drain, especially since it's so apparent that he was meant to be so much more. Ryan Gosling is absolutely convincing throughout this film, and manages to be sometimes appealing, sometimes pitiful, and sometimes reprehensible in this excellent performance.
I also fell in love with one of his students, Drey, played charmingly by Shareeka Epps. No stranger to drug dealing, Drey knows exactly what is eating her teacher, and worries about him. Likewise, Dan knows something of Drey's family, and wants to protect her, too. They form a fascinating friendship, but whether or not they can change each other's lives for the better is uncertain.
I highly recommend both films.