Friday, January 25, 2008

"Rendition"

OK, I confess, I've got a bit of a thing for Reese Witherspoon. I don't even fully understand it myself, in fact I just used to put it down to the fact that we were both irresistibly attracted to Ryan Philippe but no, I'm starting to think it's all about THE WORK. From "Legally Blonde" through "Walk the Line" via "Sweet Home Alabama" has she put a foot wrong? I think not. Her British accent is almost better than mine, as she proved playing that minx Becky Sharp in "Vanity Fair," and she comes across in interviews as a smart woman (when I said I had a thing for her, you didn't think it was this bad, did you? Admit it). So the minute (my italics) I saw the trailer for "Rendition" I was excited: Reese, Jake and Meryl, my personal Holy Trinity, all in one movie? I thought we just HAD Christmas? Honestly, go see it. It's movie that makes you think. Not just about the subject matter (if you don't know what rendition is - and I didn't really before reading about the movie - here's a quick explanation) but also about the dichotomy that is the U.S. By that, I mean the fact that the country that implements a policy like this is also the country that exposes and is shocked by it. And, indeed, the country that makes a major movie about it (ok, the director's South African but the project and, I imagine, most of the money, are American). While the message "torture is wrong and counter-productive" is hammered home pretty hard (thank goodness), the reasoning behind the rendition policy is given a more nuanced treatment (Meryl Streep's wonderful performance - we hate her YET we can see where she's coming from YET we know she's wrong, oooh, oooh, oooh - triffic). What else? A fair chunk of dialogue is in Arabic, which is unusual and nice to hear. That said, the "Romeo-and- Juliet-but-actually-not-at-all" plotline between Khalid and Fatima was given too much time in the final cut, I felt, even though I could see why it was there. And the timeshift "effect" was clever but didn't seem to serve much purpose apart from confusing me. Overall though, the wooly liberal that I am thought it was tops and would heartily recommend it.
P.S. I see that there are now rumors that Jake and Reese are getting married - maybe it IS about our shared taste in men after all....

4 comments:

Starman said...

This is one of those movies that makes me cringe when someone asks if I'm an American. I've been told that I should always deny being an American when in other countries. I've always been of the opinion that telling people in other countries that I'm an American would result in them knowing that there are some decent people in this country. People who just want to let everyone live and love in their own way. I'm starting to change my mind about denying my nationality.

rhino75 said...

Exactly my point, Starman! We may never have known about rendition if it wasn't for the courage of some of your fellow countrymen in exposing this. And through the medium of Reese Witherspoon and Jake (In these post-Tomkat times, should we refer to them as Jeese? Rake?)

nardac said...

You didn't even mention Election!!! Poo. I met her, at the tender age of 15, when she did her first film, Man on the Moon, and came to Toronto to premier it. There were maybe twelve of us in the theater and she just hollered "that's definitely not my naked butt in the film!"

I think the Gyllenhalls (or whatever vaguely aquatic name is available) might be the aliens from V, come down to spawn and take over the planet.

frog with a blog said...

"my personal holy trinity..." LOL! ;-)