Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Designated Mourner|
Actors: Mike Nichols, Miranda Richardson, David De Keyser
Director: David Hare
Genres: Comedy, Drama
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Some people just don't get it....
Edward R. Oneill | San Francisco, CA | 06/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay. Most of the people complaining about this movie act as if the MOVIE failed because they fail to take it seriously.
Yes, it's three actors talking directly to the camera for 90 minutes.
Get over it.
Yes, Wallace Shawn is not exactly the person to write an obit on the death of High Culture. And one reviewer is right to say the main character is just a pretentious faker (like Shawn?!).
And no, no one appoints that character the designated mourner for Western Culture--no one but himself.
But this film is also about despotism, and how quickly the life of the mind is snuffed out by politicians who put limits on expression.
The movie is a fascinating allegory. Yes, it's conflicted. Growing up with the inheritance of The New Yorker, no less, Shawn must be terribly conflicted about Cult-chya. But so is our society as a whole.
That's the worst thing about these other reviews. Even the writers who realize the film's about the various 'brows'--highbrow, lowbrow, etc.--fail to recognize how complexly the film negotiates these choppy cultural waters.
I adore Miranda Richardson. She's the perfect self-aware victim here--brittle but not shrill (as she can be).
Mike Nichols is indeed a revelation. He can do about ten layers of irony wrapped in sarcasm underneath hatred etc.
And if you don't want to think or be challenged, see another movie.
If you watch this one in the right frame of mind, it will really touch you deeply AND make you think.
And Pauline Kael in her last interview said it was an overlooked gem. So I'm right.
I know it's childish, but it's how I feel."