Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quick Film Review--Clean (2004)

1. This is the first Olivier Assayas film I've seen. I certainly want to see more. Maggie Cheung is such a great actor too. Why is she not used more? Her English is perfect and I don't speak French but it certainly sounded capable enough. She's beautiful and she's shockingly talented. Seems like a natural selection for so many filmmakers. I understand that Hollywood has tried to get Cheung to take stupid roles in movies like Memoirs of a Geisha that she has turned down. Good move. But there has to be some seriously good roles out there for her.

2. I loved the scene where she is explaining drugs to her 6 year old son. I don't want to give anything away but it is a necessary part of the story. She is totally honest with him and just says that drugs can be great but that the cost for using them is very high. I imagine that if you tried to lie about something like that to a child they would see through it so the talk seemed pretty convincing to me. Moreover, it's just nice to see an honest discussion of these things in film. The movie neither romanticized nor condemned drug use. It was something the characters did. Considering how many movies about drugs are just awful (Permanent Midnight anyone?), this was refreshing.

3. Nick Nolte is such an interesting actor. He can move from total shit to really outstanding performances between roles and back again with ease like no one this side of Christopher Walken. Why does he do so many bad films when in movies like this and Affliction he is so good? I imagine he just wants to work. And of course he's kind of a nut in his personal life so who knows. But he sure is strong in this film.