April 18, 2005 - by msk
This is truly a sentimental journey that felt very authentic to me. The movie was visually striking, most of the performances were spot on. Anton Yelchin is going to be a big star--he's a fine actor and handled a tough role in a compelling way. Erykah Badu stole all of her scenes and Zelda Williams was fresh and natural. Tea Leoni did a great job as a troubled, griefstricken woman--a role that could have been repellent in lesser hands. David Duchovny was subtle and yet powerful in his scenes. The only character that didn't quite do it for me was Robin Williams' retarded janitor. I never felt he was truly inhabiting the character.
A few of the details didn't quite ring true for me, but then other images are still swimming in my head--occasionally bringing a tear to my eyes as I remember the poignancy of the story.
I think this was a good film, but more importantly, it was an interesting film. We left the theater and went to Starbucks where we talked for well over an hour about the film--then discussed it on the long ride home. To me, that is the sign of a film worth seeing--that it makes you think and gives plenty of opportunity for analysis.
And. . .
May 4, 2005
I had a few hours this afternoon and decided to see how I felt about HoD without the excitement of knowing DD was in the building. I was alone in the theater, which didn't surprise me since the whole complex was nearly deserted. As I sat down, I tried to empty my mind of all the reviews I'd read, all the discussion, all the preconceptions I had. I was Suzie Nonfocussedfan. And guess what? I liked it better this time than I did the first time. A lot of the things that jarred me the first time felt smooth and easy this time. I liked Robin Williams performance more this time. I really enjoyed it and picked up a couple of neat details I missed the first time, i.e Frank Langella lecturing on Lot's wife and how hanging onto her past life doomed her. That was a neat touch, with Tommy's drawing on the bible page. It couldn't have been too much of an anvil moment, because I missed it entirely the first time. I left the theater smiling to myself and in a marvelous mood.