Monday, 15 September 2008

Four Firth Films. . .

It was a week of Colin Firth; after Easy Virtue, I also saw him in Michael Winterbottom's new film, Genova which was a rather disturbing movie to watch - Firth plays a father who takes his two girls to Genova for a year to recover from the recent death of their mother in a car crash. The focus of the story is on Mary, the younger eight-year old, who feels guilty for having caused the accident and who believes her mother still appears to her when she's alone. There's a constant unease that permeates the movie as Mary gets lost among the dark, narrow, twisting streets of the old city, and a scene set amidst the noise and confusion of ten lanes of traffic is also harrowing. It reminded me a little bit of Kate Winslet movie, Hideous Kinky. I could appreciate what Winterbottom was trying to do with the movie, but having recently been rear-ended myself (fortunately no one was hurt - I was just a little shaken), this was probably not a good movie for me to see right now.

To shake it off, I saw two more Firth movies that have recently come out on DVD. Helen Hunt's directorial debut, Then She Found Me, has Firth also playing a father who has been abandoned by his wife and though he loves his kids, he's frustrated and angry that he has had to take sole responsibility for them. He falls in love with Hunt's character whose life is in turmoil - husband has just left her, her adoptive mother has died and her birth mother has suddenly appeared in her life. And she's pregnant with her husband's child. It's quite a sweet little film exploring themes of abandonment, longing and family and Firth is once again given the type of romantic lines that would seem corny delivered by any other actor, but somehow come across as sincere from his lips.

My fourth Firth was a filmed stage production of D.H. Lawrence's play The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, starring Zoe Wannamaker, Stephen Dillane and Firth, who plays the brutish, alcoholic coal miner husband. Not the best acting I've ever seen from him; his Northern accent was not terribly convincing and he spent most of his time thumping tables and shouting. However, he made a lovely, almost angelic corpse, even covered in coal dust. The DVD also comes with a version of Lawrence's The Rainbow, starring Imogen Stubbs, which I haven't yet watched but will soon. And I have a hankering now to dig out Ken Russell's movie Women in Love. Haven't watched it in ages, but I loved Glenda Jackson in it. Oh dear, I certainly don't often get into a D. H. Lawrence mood.

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