Thursday, January 29, 2009

Velvet Goldmine

Velvet Goldmine
Originally uploaded by isobelo
Very rarely do I see a movie that just eludes me – Velvet Goldmine is one of those movies. It’s been two days since I watched the film and I still am not sure if I can form a full opinion on it. I think that Velvet Goldmine was a visually spectacular movie with great direction and acting, but after that I really have no idea.

The film is pretty complex and simple all in one. It is about British glam rock in the 1970’s, specifically the rise an fall of fictional character Brian Slade who staged his own murder and then his career went even further down the tubes.

I think part of my problem with Velvet Goldmine is that the story structure is based on a device, it is told in flashback through interviews by journalist and former glam rock devotee Arthur Stuart. The device didn’t work for me. I could figure out Stuarts past and how that worked into the story, and even his broken down present but it almost seemed like there was no connection between his past and his present. It made me unable to connect with the character.

Toni Colette plays Brian Slade’s wife Mandy in the film and honestly for me she was the best character and the best performance in the film. When she meets Brian he is young and struggling and she is the first person that takes a chance on him and marries him. They live together happily admitting Brian’s preference for open love and both sexes until the stardom goes to Brian’s head and he meets Curt Wild, and slowly but surely through the process Mandy becomes the forgotten one, the joke in the entourage. Colette plays it beautifully and you see her love for Brian be slowly replaced with disappointment and confusion as time moves on.

Part of me really thinks that this film feels like a first draft. I vaguely feel as though it should be remade someday as a musical and then it will be a perfect film.

Director & Writer: Todd Haynes
Curt Wild: Ewan McGregor
Brian Slade: Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Arthur Stuart: Christian Bale
Mandy Slade: Toni Collette
Jerry Devine: Eddie Izzard

Curt Wild: We set out to change the world... ended up just changing ourselves.
Arthur Stuart: What's wrong with that?
Curt Wild: Nothing, if you don't look at the world.

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