Darren and I went to see it last night. We were stuck behind two losers who would not stop kissing. And not even like hot kissing. They would hug with their eyes closed. Sick f-ckers. At one point Darren counted 23 kisses in 45 seconds. When he had to let go of her to find his tickets, she almost fell apart. We amused ourselves by writing their dialogue. This is how we killed time while waiting for Jakey.
So Brothers. Brothers is good. It’s good enough. But I guess going in, being such a big fan of Jim Sheridan, I thought it would be great. And it’s not great. It’s not great like In America. It offers great performances and great chemistry, but these great performances cannot make up for a story that’s not told compellingly. It feels very callous saying this especially since the subject matter is so raw but Brothers is, in a word, trite. Perhaps deservingly so. Brothers is a remake of the 2004 Danish film Brodre. And while it doesn’t completely disrespect the original, there’s not much point to it either, aside from bringing it to an audience that can only respond to melodrama.
Having said that, Tobey Maguire is terrific. Really really great range. Totally believable. It’s time for him to make more movies. The physical and psychological transformation is jarring. You see him in a new light. Yay for Tobey on the comeback.
As for Natalie Portman, even Darren couldn’t ignore that face. She is SO f-cking beautiful it’s … not fair. And it’s not like they’ve adorned her or anything either. She wears the ugliest clothes, her hair is mom highlighted, and in several scenes she’s wearing baggy sweatpants. And still. Breathtaking. Acting? Just OK. Whatever, I’ve seen her in better, do better, and besides, this film was about the boys. The tension between them was, for me anyway, the core.
Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t a movie whore. He doesn’t crank out 2 movies a year. Or even a movie a year. We have to wait for Jake. And usually it’s worth it. I confess I didn’t pay much attention to Jake in Brokeback Mountain because Heath Ledger was such a force. And in the same vein, Tobey’s part will receive the spotlight this time simply because his character is that much more flashy. But Jakey’s charisma is seriously underrated. He is a natural. He is mesmerising when he’s playing intense, he’s sexy as hell when he’s playing loose, and he totally brings the quiver in every shot. So hard. Like to the point where the pants don’t even matter. He is strong in every frame: I buy him as a degenerate, I buy him as a joker hanging out with his buddies with a great sense of humour, I buy it when he’s developing a rapport with Portman, and I definitely buy it when he’s lovingly devoted to the children. Am suddenly a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal.
See it or not?
See it for the acting. See it to watch Tobey Maguire say “hey what’s up” to his old friend Leonardo DiCaprio matchng him for skill. And definitely see it for Jakey G if only to remember that before Reese and before those incessant gay rumours, there’s a lot of talent underneath those ill fitting trousers.