Saturday, November 2, 2013

About Time

Writer/Director Richard Curtis is England’s Nancy Meyers (The Holiday/The Parent Trap)…and vice versa.  I mean that as a compliment to both.  They create, arguably, the most heartfelt films in the English language on both sides of the Atlantic.  

I confess to keeping Curtis’s Love Actually on my DVR as an emergency pick-me-up for whenever I’m down.   That’s why I was anxiously awaiting About Time.   And, while it’s not quite up to Love Actually, it does have some scenes of absolute brilliance thanks mostly to Bill Nighy and the beautiful Rachel McAdams.  They both are impeccable actors.

For why it’s not a Love Actually, I refer to that film for my point and must put on my old distributor’s hat.  To me, the one “flaw” in Love Actually was the casting of Hugh Grant’s love interest.  Not that she was bad in any way.  She was quite charming, in fact,. It’s just that I wished someone more appealing had been given the part…appealing in the way of box office draw, if nothing else. 

In About Time, it’s the casting of Domhnall Gleeson in the main role that brought up the same feeling.  He gives a fine performance, but, again, I wish someone with more box office appeal had been given the part because I believe it would draw more people to this worthwhile film.

However, I would point out that in American Indian rug-weaving, the masters purposely make a flaw in their work which is known as the Spirit Line.  The reason is an expression of humility, since only the Great Spirit can make a perfect work.  

While I have no idea whether Curtis is aware of this, I’m beginning to think he may unconsciously be creating Spirit Lines in his work.
Nevertheless, there is so much to enjoy in this film about relishing our time of life that I urge you to see it.  And, I may go see it again, myself.

I give About Time a 4 out of 5.

P.S.: After a fairly stressful day, I needed something uplifting and did go to see About Time again.  Not only did I enjoy it even more than the first viewing, I felt I might have been a bit unfair with my rating.  While Domhnall Gleeson may not be a young Hugh Grant, he does grow on you and I’m revising my rating to 4+ out of 5.  If it weren’t for some annoying and unnecessary hand-held shots in a few scenes that I didn’t mention before, the film would get a full 5 out of 5.

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