Thursday, December 25, 2003

monster's ball

After having suffered Halle Berry in Swordfish, X Men and Die Another Day, I noted the need to watch Monster's Ball to find out if she could actually deliver a good performance. That she won an Oscar for this film is purely a coincidence. But then that's me and the Oscars. Denzel Washington won that year too, and although I liked him in Training Day, I wasn't exactly thinking "Oscar". But back to the film under discussion (soliloquy). This is a film about pain, longing, and loss. The tone is mellow and all the sexuality is dominated by emptiness. Titillation does not even figure on the agenda of this story of a burgeoning relationship between a racist prison guard and the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed (played by Sean Combs!). Look out for visual tips-of-the-hat to Taxi Driver and Apocalypse Now. And the use of mirrors. And then sit back and wonder how Halle Berry managed to pull this off? Perhaps the vibe of a strong script and a strong supporting cast and crew transferred over... Perhaps she got lucky. Until further notice, this will remain, for me, her first and last best performance.
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