Monday, March 24, 2008

In Bruges

I've never been a Colin Farrell fan. To me, he always looks like he smells bad. Just by looking at him, I almost want to wrinkle my nose at the potential stench of stale beer and cigarettes....and that's enough to turn me off of most anyone, even in cinema, where smell is not a sense traditionally employed.

But this past weekend, I saw a flick that has me giving Mr. Farrell his props. "In Bruges" was an unexpected pleasure. And he exhibited impressive acting range in it -- from quirky comedy to intense drama and back. Quite well done. At times, he even looked like he smelled pretty good, like maybe he could clean up well if he wanted to.

I hadn't heard of "In Bruges" until about two hours prior to was playing down the street, a quick scan of the reviews sounded decent, and Bruges is actually the only city in Belgium anyone in my house has actually visited, so we threw caution and $8 each to the wind and strolled down to the art cinema to check it out.

I have to say it was quite entertaining. It's a dark comedy with quirks. Familiar faces, unfamiliar faces...all interesting, odd characters with fun and creative dialogue. A British film, it also stars Ralph Fiennes (a short, but impressive contribution) and Brendan Gleeson (familiar face, unfamiliar name for me) and a few other oddly cast actors which really worked. I even liked the only American references in the film -- an arrogant, racist dwarf and an overweight tourist from New York. Americans weren't exactly reflected in the kindest of lights, but it added to the film and is probably more spot on than most of us care to admit.

A good film, it's not a moneymaker for sure. It was the opener at Sundance this year, but so far, it's only in limited release, doing $5m to date in the US. I don't know why really. All I can figure is that they just didn't spend much on marketing this flick. It has to be a word of mouth thing.
So I'm here to pass it on -- word of mouth. It's a fun film, with dramatic moments....heart rendering even....and definitely worth the price of admission. Go, enjoy, see Colin Farrell clean up and smell good. It's worth the $8.
Word of caution: The language is quite colorful. If you can't handle the 4-letter word catalogue, don't bother. But if you can look past it, it's great fun.

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