Plenty to Like, Plenty to Dislike
Good movie, but best of all time? Hardly . . .
best movie i've ever seen.
While it doesn't offer any answers, it both thrills and makes you think.
Stunning movie at their own pace. Marcia Gay Harden is awesome in this role; while Oscar Jaenada is a big surprise, and he will be soon a great actor. Costa Rica, its beauty, and its leitmotiv "pura vida", works as the third character of the story. A movie to think. To slow down our vertiginous lives. At first you may think "things are happening very slow", but then you get in the story, understanding what is all about. Very poetic, not just in the script but in the cinematography. I think it's a film that "book people" will love, and the rest will want to start reading. A film to think about life, loneliness and personal achievements.
When Jane's library job closes down, she takes a trip to Costa Rica to get away. There, she immediately meets tour guide "Juan", who has decided he will take advantage of her, for money, and maybe even for more. Marcia Harden is Jane, who has always been closed in and private, so getting used to the ways of this new country will take some time. They visit one of the parks, where we get to see some beautiful exotic animals. Juan tracks her down at her hotel at an in-opportune time, and convinces her to explore the countryside with him. Hanging out with Juan and seeing the beauty of this foreign land may change her outlook on life. Plain, simple script. Great performances by the (two) actors. There is a dark, moody, brooding, airy side to Jane, which hangs over the entire story. Juan spends the film cheering her up, and kind of forcing her to enjoy herself. Cute story. It has a small, indie feel to it. Good first full length film by Feldman. My one complaint would be the subtitles... they are white, and frequently they can't be seen, when the background is white, yellow, or even light. and when they ARE visible, there are some mistakes here and there. Overall very enjoyable film. Currently showing on Showtime channel.Written, directed, produced, and edited by Juan Feldman. I see the production company was mano a mano films, which only has one other U.S. film, "The Prey".... which also happens to be a Juan Feldman production.
Although she's not one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood today, I do think Marcia Gay Harden is possibly the most interesting. Despite some A-list pictures to her credit, Ms. Harden also has a real knack for appearing in low-budgeted but very high quality films--films that emphasize her exceptional acting talents and are films about people. So while you might not have heard about her movies like "Canvas" or "Elsa & Fred" or "If I Were You", these are amazingly good films about people...people you could easily believe are real.The latest offering featuring the actress is "After Words"--a terrific little film that features, once again, complex characters and a really unique performance. It begins with a librarian, Jane (Harden) leaving for a trip to Costa Rica. She's vaguely dissatisfied with life and has no one with which to share it. She also is contemplating taking this exotic trip and at its conclusion, killing herself!When she arrives in the country, a handsome young guide, Juan (Óscar Jaenada) offers to show her around this tropical paradise. He is strapped for cash and the viewer is led to expect that he's just a womanizer out to take advantage of yet another middle-aged woman. But, in a nice twist, there is far, far more to their relationship. Through the course of their time together, they form a nice bond and learn from each other. He learns about her love for books and she learns about his love for life. What's going to happen to them as well as he plans of suicide? See the film and watch their relationship slowly unfold.There's so much to like about this movie. The best thing is the acting. Harden is still that same terrific actress you'd expect but Jaenada is also terrific and an excellent choice for the film. While this Spanish actor isn't famous throughout the world, I loved him in the recent film about the famous Mexican comic, Cantinflas. His impersonation of Mario Mareno was captivating. I'd sure love to see more of these two. Apart from the great writing, the script is unusual and enjoyable and it's a decent little film for couples to watch--especially couples were aren't necessarily young or hip. The film deserves kudos for featuring a 50-something actress who, down deep, is gorgeous, sensual and vital. The only thing I might mention is that there is a bit of nudity-- though it's tasteful and Harden looks marvelous. Well worth seeing and as of this week, this new film is available through Netflix. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
This is a lovely small film. It was very satisfying. I woke up thinking about it. Marcia Gay Harden gives a GREAT performance. If you are her fan you need to see After Words just to see her.She plays a curmudgeonly librarian who is depressed and lonely. And that is before she loses her job. Her life is isolated, sad, and pathetic in the huge city of L.A. After being laid off she takes a dream vacation to Costa Rica. In this tropical paradise the beauty of nature, and sincere friendship are healing.There are three wonderful performances. The cinematography is lovely. Lots of nature shots, beautiful beaches, and jungles. Plenty of native culture, some Spanish, and just enough humor.The story line is not trite. If you are a Marcia Gay Harden fan then you MUST see this film. It will be a lovely treat for you. The relationship she develops with her tour guide is not a cliché. It is a friendship which she desperately needs. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. The little girl is an adorable actress.I love this movie. I laughed and cried. It deserves to be seen twice and I will recommend it to family and friends. This is a film I would see with my husband on a date, with girl friends, or with my mother. There is a very small amount of sex - so you might not see it with your young child. But then, it is not really a film which would interest most children or young teens. This is a film for someone mature who loves stories set in nature, relationships, books, and the possibility of finding new purpose in life when you are past the half way mark. I love this movie. It is a gem.