Vulcan’s Peak

Drama, drama, drama

July 13, 2006 5:06 pm

(Looky! I finally discovered the “more” tag! The Peak becomes readable again! And believe it or not, I just posted real news, too. It’s down here.)

We are in desparate need of some comedy. Fortunately, a few episodes of Family Guy after a dinner of some fabulous, Carmen-made spaghetti Tuesday night helped to resuscitate us.

The suspects: Crash, The House of Sand and Fog, and Proof

Crash. Now I understand why so many people were confused that this movie won the best picture Oscar this year. Main message seems to be that everyone’s racist in some twisted fasion, and the world, in which we are all blindly but irrevocably and inexplicably connected, is full of hate. Too pessimistic for my tastes. Jury’s still out on whether it was pessimistic or realistic.

The House of Sand and Fog. Add water, stir, let chill, repeat. This story about a woman (for whom we are expected to feel sorry, even though she could have stopped the whole trainwreck of events if she would drag herself out of a state of apathy and, you know, read her own mail) who gets evicted for tax evasion of a tax she shouldn’t have to pay, and about the Iranian family who moves into the house. Despite the father of the family being more that a little on the autocratic side, they were far more interesting than Miss My-Life-Sucks and the deputy sherrif she picks up. He was an okay character…for the first half-hour. See E’s comment on cop characters. Apparently this got good reviews for portraying Iranians as sypathetic, humane characters. I don’t mean to suggest that we should villanize Iranians, but that almost feels insulting. We Will Teach You that Iranians Are People Too! Ouch. Can I get credit for a conscience, please?

Proof. At heart, Proof is a family angst story that revolves around mathematicians. And despite feeling drama-ed out, I really liked it. The main character is Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a young woman who has spent the last several years taking care of her mathematician-with-mental-problems father (Anthony Hopkins), sacrificing her own education (also in math) and social life along the way. When the father dies, older sister Claire sweeps in from New York, intending to take Catherine back with her to “take care of her” – of course the last thing Catherine wants. (The sisters are complete opposites, which is fairly amusing.) The last elements are the father’s former grad student (Jake Gyllenhaal of Brokeback Mountain and (if you’ve been reading) October Sky) who seems to have a thing for Catherine, and a proof that Catherine has kept locked in the drawer of her father’s desk. This proof could change the field of mathematics, something the father did more than once in his younger days – but was this one written by the old man or his daughter? I recommend it. Skip the other two.

No Responses to “Drama, drama, drama”

Care to comment?