April 26, 2007
Jindabyne."It's easy to see how a filmmaker could read one of Raymond Carver's spare little stories of domesticated males attempting to reassert their primacy and think, Why don't I flesh that out a bit? - and then discover, too late, that Carver has said all he needs to say and anything else is bloat," writes New York's David Edelstein. "Scene by scene, Jindabyne has dramatic force, but it's an awfully long slog. Carver's smartest tactic was never outstaying his welcome." "Like more than a few Australian movies, it's haunted by the primal crime committed against the Aborigines and is something of a ghost story," writes J Hoberman in the Voice. "Like [Ray] Lawrence's previous films, it's also very much a literary adaptation. As Lantana was blatantly Altmanesque in structure, Jindabyne references the master indirectly." Updated through 4/30. "Jindabyne wears its class politics lightly, weaving them into a ghost story about the intimate connection between how we treat our living and our dead that will hover around your shoulders long after you leave the theater," writes Ella Taylor in the LA Weekly, where Scott Foundas talks with Lawrence. "If you can speak of a Lawrence formula after just two pictures, it involves a couple of intriguing actors with Hollywood credentials (Barbara Hershey and Anthony LaPaglia in Lantana; Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne here) in a domestic situation that grows ever darker and more enigmatic," writes Andrew O'Hehir, who talks with Lawrence for Salon. "Thoroughly deliberate in its exposition, the film unfolds at a pace as expansive as the landscape it depicts," proposes Jason Bogdaneris in the L Magazine. Brandon Harris finds it to be "the first film to do justice to the late Mr Carver's sublime prose." For Annie Frisbie, writing at Zoom In Online, it's a "sharply observed, superbly crafted joyride of a character study." In the New York Press, Armond White recommends catching Boy Culture instead; not for thematic reasons but simply because, in his mind, it's a better adaptation. Susan King talks with Byrne for the LAT. Earlier: "Cannes. Jindabyne." Updates, 4/27: "There are few actors who convey the wounded intelligence of an ordinary person in distress as well as Ms Linney," writes AO Scott in the New York Times. "The characters she portrays are often, at first glance, satellites to a central male drama - the mother in The Squid and the Whale, the wife in Kinsey, the sister in You Can Count on Me - but in each of these cases it turns out that her psychological precision holds the key to the story." As for Jindabyne: "The real flaw is that the movie's best features - the aching clarity of its central performances - threaten to be lost in a wilderness of metaphor and mystification." In the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan finds it "as slow getting started as a leisurely weekend fishing trip, but it ends up having an almost unbearable impact." "Like Lantana, Jindabyne ponders the ways people connect or drift apart in fits of wounded emotion that break through its thriller format," writes Fernando F Croce at Slant. "Also like the earlier film, it shatters its own best effects with a lecturing tidiness that undercuts the ambiguity Lawrence strives for." Nick Dawson talks with Lawrence for Filmmaker. Sighs Michelle Orange at the Reeler: "It's not that this story of a corpse discovered and ignored on a fishing trip, and the ensuing repercussions for a marriage and an entire community, is a drag - God knows I am always up for a cracking drag - it's that it's a draaaaaaag." "[I]f Jindabyne doesn't quite coalesce like its taut predecessor, it comes close enough; its unevenness is made up for by its ambitious wanderings through trickier, thought-provoking terrain, and, although it goes slack occasionally, clocking in at just over two hours, the film resonates with rhythmic momentum," writes Kristi Mitsuda at Reverse Shot. Update, 4/30: Aaron Hillis talks with Lawrence for IFC News.
Posted by dwhudson at April 26, 2007 1:36 PM