Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Exciting Film to Love...and An Important Film to Look Forward To

I'm so blown away by this film, I can barely type. Like the magic that happens when a certain group of musicians get together (The Beatles?), every bit of The International is exquisite. It's like watching a master symphony at work.

But you won't notice that. Instead, you'll be caught up in this thriller, catapulted on a ride from New York to Berlin to Luxembourg to France to Italy to Turkey and back to New York (not necessarily in that order). With spot-on direction, brilliant, never-faltering performances, and plot twists and turns, I can not imagine it would be possible not to enjoy the ride. And then there's the Guggenheim. The esteemed New York museum has been recreated. Yes, the Guggenheim recreated, for a chilling clash of forces. Only on the DVD extras do we get to see the work that went into this feat.

While many international espionage/thrillers get caught up in their own web of complexity, Eric Singer's script keeps things razor sharp. A mega-powerful international bank gets intimately involved in funding war. Clive Owen, an Interpol agent determined to expose this extensive racket, delivers an Oscar-worthy performance. Truly, he is one of our greatest contemporary actors.

I searched out the director, Tom Tykwer, whose name didn't ring a bell. Silly me. Not only is he the director of the much-praised, Run Lola Run, but he is also an accomplished composer—creating a chillingly effective and original soundtrack for this film.

But a quick gander at his IMDB profile reveals something that has me giddy with anticipation. Listed under "In Development," is "What is the What," Dave Eggers' staggeringly beautiful story of the experiences of Sudanese refugee, Valentino Achak Deng. So Valentino's unbelievably heart-breaking yet triumphant life will be brought to the big screen. We can only hope. The world will be a better place for knowing Valentino's story.

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