Eugene Weekly : Movies : 2.8.07


This Weeks Movie Reviews:

Notes on a Scandal Directed by Richard Eyre. Written by Patrick Marber. Cinematography, Chris Menges. Music, Philip Glass. Starring Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy and Andrew Simpson. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2007. R. 92 minutes.

There are a number of very fine actresses working today — far more, unfortunately, than roles for them to play. But in my opinion there are relatively few transformative actors at any given time, meaning women (or men) who don’t portray a role as much as create it from the inside out. These performers are so spirited, so emotionally courageous, that their work regularly elevates and even transcends the overall project. To this rarified category I’d nominate Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, who together make Notes on a Scandal one of the best films of 2006. Read more…


Pan’s Labyrinth Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. Cinematography, Guillermo Navarro. Starring Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones and Alex Angulo. Picturehouse, 2006. R. 112 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.

A haunting melody runs through Pan’s Labyrinth, the new film from writer, director and producer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, The Devil’s Backbone). It shivers through the opening narration and turns warm when hummed by Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), a quietly rebellious housekeeper in an old mill in the Spanish woods. Composer Javier Navarrete’s sweetly ominous theme delicately captures the feel of del Toro’s breathtakingly beautiful, horrifying film, in which one girl’s adventures in a strange otherworld run parallel to the horrors of this world. Read more…