April 5, 2010

Happy Place

2009 was full of cinematic surprises.  I loved a lot of indie films: The Brothers Bloom, (500) Days of Summer, The September Issue, and Bright Star were among my favorites. The Princess & The Frog, Up, and Up in the Air were also really good, and luckily weren't hoisted by their own advertising petards.  An Education, In The Loop, and Zombieland I loved as well, even though I didn't see them until 2010.

However.  The Young Victoria was my absolute favorite.  Totally and completely in a class by itself.  I don't really know that many people who've seen it, but those who have tend to agree with me.

It's a very tactile movie.  I think a lot of that is due to the costume designer (who coincidentally won the oscar) - she put them in the kinds of fabrics that they would've worn; some soft and flowy, some starchy, thick stuff.  You also hear the sounds of their heels tapping the floors as they walk, the smooth sound of their hands running along the banisters when they descend stairs, their gowns and coats ruffling as they glide through the open halls, the clinking of silverware at the table, the hiss of cushions when they sit.

The cinematography is gorgeous as well.  You're not viewing the room at a whole - it's not a play.  You're up there, close and personal, in their face.  You see every emotion, every thought, every flicker of surprise or anger or passion or sadness.  It's not about setting anything up, or even the script really.  It's about you and them and the moment in time that they occupy and what they do with it.  I was reminded of The Holy Moment even though I'm not sure that applies to period pieces.

More photos after the break.  Don't you just love his hair??

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