Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Definitely joining my Top Ten Films of 2007 list: Broken English, now on DVD. I want to call it a romantic comedy, but it wasn't ha-ha funny. In fact, at times it was downright painful in a "wow, that's truly how awful single life can be sometimes" way.
Zoe Cassavetes is the genius behind the lens and the script of this simply lovely film about a 30-something New York girl who just can't find her way romantically. Parker Posey is exquisite in the lead role. This is definitely an indie queen hitting her stride with remarkable vulnerability and subtlety. Never hitting a false note in a trip-wired range of emotions that darts from sarcastic to panic to ecstactic, she definitely earns an Independent Spirit award nomination for best actress with this part. I've always been a Posey fan, but this film put her on a whole new pedestal for me. On an unrelated note, she's becoming more and more Katherine Hepburn-esque, which is a wonderful thing in itself.
While it is obvious from Cassavetes' bell-clear ear for dialogue and the knowing nuances she captures in the performances that she is a Sofia Lost in Translation Coppola in the making, the casting by Adrienne Stern should be credited with a fair portion of the magic at work here.
Justin Theroux, who can do no wrong in my book, is hilarious as an up-and-coming actor who books a room at the hotel where our heroine works. Drea de Matteo is a nice surprise as the bitter best friend. Michael Panes only has a small role as Posey's coworker, but he does so much with so little screen time. (I recognized him from his other memorable turn in the L.A.-centric gem The Anniversary Party, which also starred PP.) Finally, wonderfully, are-you-kidding-with-the-outta-control-dreaminess: Mevil Poupaud as the French fellow who might just be the one. Oo-freakin-la-la.
Andrew Weisblum as editor deserves a shout-out, too. The opening title sequence stands out particularly in my mind as gracefully paced and emotionally bracing—thoughtfully setting up the emotional ebb tides to come.
This is a chick flick in the most flattering sense of the term. I will pay Broken English the same compliment I bestowed upon another Top Ten shoe-in for my movie list this year, La Vie En Rose—this is a film that captures the truth of a woman's heart, bruises and all.