3.22.2005

QUICKIE: I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004)

We have been contemplating our existence since we were first capable of such thought. What is what, who is who, why is it all the way it is and why don't we fully understand it? How can we answer it? Where are we? Where have we been? Where are we going? Does it matter? Does it matter too much? Why don't more people realize it? My own answers, if you can even begin to call them that (they're really just more questions), are influenced by the work of Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Fred Alan Wolf and several of our philosophical ancestors. I also look at culture throughout history - our creations and the motivations behind it all. Being a budding screenwriter, I have been trying to find an excuse to put all this into a script. I've attempted to think up some storyline, some set of characters and division of characteristics and beliefs between them that might get ideas of this sort across. Well, I Heart Huckabees is exactly that type of film and it does one hell of a job.

The actors take shape in ways they never have before, they're all at the top of their game. Jude Law really earned my full respect here. Jason Schwartzman was fantastic as well - very believable and easy to relate to. Now, I have always liked Mark Whalberg's acting, but this was the best I've ever seen him. There were some nice cameos as well, including one from Said Taghmaoui, the man who played Whalberg's interrogator in Three Kings, and a friend of Russell's.

Jon Brion's score, as his scores always do, perfectly compliments the film. I also loved Russell's color scheme. He decided to only include red during intense moments. This may seem like an obvious decision - "Come on, Tom, haven't you seen Run, Lola, Run?" but it is used with more subtlety than is the case with many other films. Also in Russell's arsenal is a clever usage of fine art and poetry. The paintings that flesh out the scenery, the use of Bob Dylan's work and even Dustin Hoffman's character's kinship with the painter Magritte are well utilized.

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