The film was great. Tony Leung (one of the main reasons I wanted to see it) played a truly horrible person, who is somehow really compelling anyway. You can't help but hate him and be fascinated by him at the same time. And that's just how the heroine feels about him, too, so it's very appropriate. While I was watching it I was thinking, "There's no way this film is getting an R rating." Later I found out it's going to be rated NC-17. A little bit of violence, and a lot of graphic sex.
Later that day I saw Nightwatching, by another favorite director, Peter Greenaway. I'm not sure how I felt about this one. There were some things I really liked about it, but it was dense, and I was tired, and I wasn't following it all that well. It was gorgeous, and Martin Freeman was great as Rembrant. But if I want to know what was actually going on with all the intrigue, I'm definitely going to have to see it again.
On Monday morning I saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Is that the longest title in movie history? Probably not, but it's considerably longer than it needs to be, I think. The film itself is aslo quite long, and when director Andrew Dominik stepped on stage to greet us before the screening he said he hates introducing the film. He said it's long, it's slow, and he hoped we all had plenty of coffee that morning. Not a real enthusiastic way of introducing your film, I have to say. Or maybe he was just being overly modest, in reaction to the media frenzy surrounding the film's star. (And no, Brad Pitt wasn't there for this early morning screening, making it a much less frenzied event).
Anyway, he needn't have been so apologetic. I thought the movie was great. Yes, it was long (2 hours and 40 minutes), but it was very engaging. I've seen much shorter movies where I was looking at my watch and wondering when it would be over. Brad was great in it, as were Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell, and many others. I'd certainly recommend it to people.
The last film I saw before heading back to NYC was probably my favorite - a film by Jason Reitman called Juno. It stars Ellen Page as the title character, a high school girl who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. She finds a good candidate family in Jennifer Gartner and Jason Bateman. Oh, and her friend/baby daddy is played by Michael Cera. The script by Diablo Cody is excellent - hilarious and very real. I was laughing pretty much the whole way through.