Volpane In Love

Decade Archive of my personal blog from 1999 to 2009.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Warner Bros. : Hearts In Atlantis

I guess I need to lower my expectations for myself around keeping up with my movie watching and other things. I've been meaning to add to this page for too long. And every few weeks I find myself at another movie and no desire to write anything about them.

A week ago, last Thursday; Carolyn invited me out to see a preview of a movie starring Anthony Hopkins. I didn't realize the screenplay was an adaptation of a Stephen King story until Carolyn arrived and mentioned that point of interest. I was intrigued. As long as King wasn't directing or writing the screenplay, this should prove entertaining. And largely it was, even if it was a little sappy. I couldn't help comparing it to Stand by Me, which is a far better story.

Even so, the kid they got to play the main character Bobby Garfield (Anton Yelchin) is very photogenic, and in a few years he could be a formidable actor. Perhaps Mika Boorem, who plays the childhood love interest, Carol Gerber, shows more promise. Her chameleon ability to convincingly play ing´┐Żnue, tom boy and surviving daughter without much effort suggests I may be watching for her performances in the near future, like I did with Christina Ricci years ago after her deadpan portrayal of Charles Addam's Wednesday.

Hopkins also breathes belief into an otherwise lifeless role that nearly fades from the screen before he's carted off by McCarthy era G-men. But he's at best when he is chewing out the neighborhood bully with a little strategic psychology. It doesn't really matter if he is foretelling the boy's future or simply using the young man's own fears against him, it remain a plausible performance without the story's magical realism. Unfortunately Hopkins leaves no room in the character for the possibility of mental instability, perhaps for good reason, he believes his own delusions too convincingly and he has convinced the audience of something that they should have to question themselves about.

Unfortunately the magical realism is the story's weakest link and the director has all but ignored its inconsistencies. Also the relationship between Bobby and Carol could have been more convincing if there was more of the adult back-story. The Director obviously opted against that so he could show more of the main character's earlier memories. I think I would have liked it hinted at more, but then I prefer my Hollywood movies to show nothing and imply much. Am I asking for too much?

Ultimately this will be a good video rental after its general release, but not much more.