Movie Mountain – Days 3-5: Shutter Island & Ed Wood
As a self-confessed movie geek, I now make it my goal to watch 365 films (that I haven’t seen before) in 365 days, and then informally review each one right here. So, on Wednesday 23rd March 2011 my task should be complete. Wish me luck.
Wednesday meant a trip to the cinema to see the eagerly anticipated Shutter Island. Scorsese & Di Caprio are a dream combination, and this film did not disappoint. A federal agent travels to the Shutter Island, a notorious mental institution just off the coast near Boston, to investigate the disappearance of a patient.
However, upon arrival it is clear that there is something not quite right about the patients, police, and doctors (played brilliantly by Ben Kingsley and Max Von Sydow), and soon the film is taken over by a dark sense of paranoia that leaves the audience questioning what is real and what is not.
This film is not for the easy-viewer and requires a great deal of concentration, but the results are extremely rewarding. Reminded me of Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind.
Friday was a night in to watch another long-standing combination of director and actor, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Their 1994 biopic, Ed Wood, based on the life and struggles of 50’s film director Edward Davis Wood Jr.
Wood (played fantastically by Depp who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance) was renowned for his cheaply made films that have now become notorious as being some of the worst films ever made. This film looks into his friendship with washed up actor Bela Lugosi (played by Martin Landau who won Best Supporting Actor oscar for this performance) and Wood’s ambitious attempts to make it in Hollywood, by initially making a film about his personal love for cross-dressing.
The film emphasises the director’s struggles for cash, battles against other people’s ambitions, and problems in his personal life (his girlfriend is played by Sarah Jessica Parker). In general, Burton’s film is quirky, light-hearted, and doesn’t blow you away… a bit like an Ed Wood film.