Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lady In the Water

How does one review this film in the context of a blog? Well, sure, there are no "rules", but perhaps the word this qualifies that as my aesthetic, my rulebook. Three examples: any misspellings I want to be deliberate, not because I am careless. There should be pictures to catch the eye. Reviews should be concise, with as little synopsis as possible.
Which brings us to the fable "Lady in the Water", a self aware film that manages to overcome its own navelgazing to delight the open viewer...and there is the catch.
As viewers we rely on critics to cut down our wasted time. Trailers can make drivel look exciting, which is, of course, their primary function, to entice you to see the film. The other aspect of trailerhood--revealing the whole movie--exposes the lack of art to the craft of the trailer.
After "The Village" one got leery of M Night Shyamalan trailers. It didn't matter that The Village was a solid take on the "The Big Chill" generation, it was not, for the most part, the horror film the trailer promised--and was savaged for that.
Hollywood is not producing fables these days outside of animation and that is a shame. Thanks in part to a parody of a movie critic character in "Lady in the Water" that is probably not going to change much after this film.
"Lady in the Water" is a well shot, captivating and otherworldy film that ups the ante on the Spike Lee motif of being in his own films, without jarring you out of the picture whenever he is on screen. Giamatti and Bryce Howard hold our attention, the CG, while not stunning, serves the film well.
What's not to like? Nothing if you can ignore the 4th wall. When's the next one coming out?

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