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My Blueberry Nights

September 5, 2010

My Blueberry Nights (2007)
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Actors: Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman

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Synopsis: Elizabeth (Norah Jones) encounters numerous characters on a road-trip across America.

Review: Wong Kar Wai tackling his trademark themes of romantic, geographic and temporal wistfulness is treat enough for most avid cinephiles. Putting those elements into a uniquely American landscape of late-night diners, lonely bars, and the “open road” makes that initial premise even more intriguing, so it’s a shame to report that Wong’s first English language film is essentially a dud. What really limits the film’s potential is the substandard screenplay that not only contains some of the most phoney dialogue going, but also embarks its central character (a charisma-free Norah Jones) on an episodic journey of bogus meta-narratives and a smattering of fortune-cookie platitudes. Although clearly not helped by the risible script, the cast do a good impression of a troupe desperate to win a worst ensemble performance of the year award. Unfortunately, even Wong himself struggles with the material, as his regulation use of slo-mo, lurid colour schemes, and dreamy cinemascapes, play like cobbled attempts to invoke pathos rather than organic elements borne out of a worthy subject matter. I’d probably take a weak Wong effort over most decent efforts from industry hacks, but I sincerely hope Wong ups his game for his next American travail. (February 2008)

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