Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Living in a Bubble

Bubble, the latest film by Steven Soderbergh has garnered a lot of press lately. Unfortunately, most of the press has been about the pros and cons of the simultaneous DVD/Cable/Theater releasing scheme. Even the reviews of the film miss the most important aspect of this movie, which is the film's effective proof that there is no reason to pay Jennifer Lopez millions of dollars for her services. With the right director, a woman who has worked at a KFC for 24 years can turn in an effective and affecting performance. Bubble is the story of three people who work at a doll factory in Belpre, Ohio. The movie explores what happens when their lives intersect. Nothing earth-shattering here, but it is the first time that these people have ever acted. In some cases it shows, but even then it works somehow. In terms of acting, the closest thing I can compare it to is Monte Hellman's superb film, TWO LANE BLACKTOP, which featured singer James Taylor and dead Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson in the leads roles. But even there, Hellman hedged his bets, hiring some talented Hollywood regulars lest the film careen off into disaster. Soderbergh works without a net. The end result is a film that feels like a documentary, and yet we know it is not. A word has to be said here about Soderbergh's cinematography. This film is visually stunning. I'd say kudos to Director of Photography, but Soderbergh did it himself, as he often does, under the name Peter Andrews. If you can, I would recommed seeing this in a theater just because the visual deserve the largest format possible (unless you have a 50' screen at home, in which case, never mind).

No comments: