Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Enduring Love |
Actors: Rhys Ifans, Daniel Craig, Samantha Morton, Bill Weston, Jeremy McCurdie
Director: Roger Michell
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
In ENDURING LOVE, a Joe (Craig) and Claire's (Morton) romantic picnic is disrupted after a hot air balloon drifts into a field, appearing to be in trouble. Inside the balloon is a young boy and the pilot whose leg gets tan... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Kate K. (kateknolls) from SAN LEANDRO, CA
Reviewed on 11/27/2007...
Creepy. Interesting movie. I felt like there was a lot of build up and then by the end of the movie they realized they didn't have enough time so they really quick had to end it. That's just my opinion. I got frustrated with the characters too, I felt like no one did what they should have done if it had actually been real life.
After A Brilliant Opening Scene - A Major Letdown. Sad.
Jana L. Perskie | New York, NY USA | 07/10/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Whenever I've heard anyone discuss "Enduring Love," or read a review of it, there's always a vivid description of the first scene involved. And, usually there's mention of how the film was a letdown - not 100% of the time, of course, but often enough to take note. And people don't just say, "I didn't like this movie." - plain and simple. They use the words "letdown," and "disappointment," as if they had been expecting so much more. I read Ian McEwan's excellent novel, upon which the movie was based, and was certainly curious to see what one of my favorite directors, Roger Michell, ("Persuasion"), had done to bring the literary work to life. I so hate being one of the crowd....but:
It's a warm, windy summer day. There's a sunny meadow, surrounded by hedgerows - all green and earth tones. A couple, Joe, (Daniel Craig), and his girlfriend, Claire (Samantha Morton), are on a picnic. As he opens a bottle of "posh" champagne, she stares over his shoulder as a beautiful red-colored helium balloon floats by, low to the ground. Then there's a shout and it seems as if the balloon is out of control, tilting oddly, dragging. The beauty of the bright red contrasted against the pastoral greens and browns is suddenly gone. One feels jarred. Joe and Claire rush toward the balloon, as do four other men who seem to come from nowhere - laborers from nearby fields, people in a passing car. The men grab on to the balloon. The pilot catches his foot and hangs from the line. The only passenger, a boy, is too afraid to release the cord or jump out. The wind picks-up and the balloon ascends, the men still holding on. As it rises, all the men let go, all but one. He manages to hang on until it's too late to drop safely.
In the span of those few moments everything changes for Joe. The accident plagues him. It has become a terrible intrusion into his once happy existence. Filled with guilt and remorse, thinking that a life could have been saved if he had somehow acted otherwise, his behavior and perceptions become distorted. He sketches hot air balloons, cuts out photos of them, blow up small balloons for models. Enough already!! Joe doesn't understand what is happening to himself and refuses to seek help for post-traumatic stress, as live-in lover Claire suggests. His long-term relationship with her begins to deteriorate. And, oddly, one of the men who tried to help that day, one of the four strangers who attempted to weight down the red balloon, contacts Joe. Scruffy-looking Jed Parry, (Rhys Ifans), attaches himself to Joe and begins to demonstrate extremely obsessive behavior. Jed believes everything happens for a reason. He thinks the entire purpose of the balloon accident was for Joe and him to meet - that they're soul mates - connected in some deep, inevitable way. Is this a sexual attraction? Is Jed a religious zealot? He wanted to pray with Joe after the after the incident.
Whatever else he might be, Jed is a stalker. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the level of Glenn Close's character in "Fatal Attraction," Jed is a perfect 10! He writes to Joe; shows up in his classroom; watches from the park across from Joe's and Claire's flat on sunny days and in downpours. At first Joe appears enraged, then sympathetic, but the psychology behind whatever is happening is obscure. What does Jed want? How far will he go to get it? And why in heaven's name doesn't Joe do something about it?? What does Joe want - what are his fantasies? Call the police, Joe?? Take a long vacation to Australia, New Zealand or Chile with Claire. How engaged is Joe in this warped relationship? It is never made clear. That's a problem.
I think the movie's initial scene is mentioned so frequently because it is so visually striking, and emotionally charged - really outstanding and unsettling. Unfortunately, the film, like the balloon, goes off course after that brief glimpse of brilliance. Director Michell promises so much in the first few minutes and does not deliver. The actors are outstanding. I must give them credit for making the most of what they were given. So, why does the film never live up to its potential? There's too much ambiguity. You need to read the book to understand what's going on in the movie. Isn't it usually the other way around? Jed's repetitive activity, along with Joe's repetitive passivity, are boring. And Joe's failure to act, even his seeming lack of clarity of purpose during a most critical scene at the end, is the film's failure.
At one point in "Enduring Love," Jed, a real madman, bangs his head against a wall repeatedly. That's exactly how I felt at that same moment, as a viewer. It would have been so easy to stop - just turn off the DVD player. But I kept waiting for some redeeming factor, something enlightening to happen to make sense of it all. Never happened. And the denouement came with a whimper, not a bang. There is no way I can recommend this film, in all honesty - unless you rent it for the first scene and fast forward to some other moments of pertinence before clicking off the remote. Sad.
Get It And - Don't Let Go!
El Lagarto | Sandown, NH | 10/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Riding in a hot air balloon is completely different than all other forms of air transport, jets, helicopters, even props. Your view of the ground below is hypnotizing - it looks like a map - there's virtually no sound at all, and they're very stable. But what you notice most is the pace, hot air balloons move at such a lazy clip it's as though time itself is limitless. The entire effect is incredibly soothing.
The deliberate crawl of Enduring Love takes its cue from ballooning, as the ballooning tragedy that begins it defines what will happen. Joe, the protagonist, (played with convincing angst by Daniel Craig), is a professor who has embraced a profoundly nihilistic world view. In Jed, (brilliantly realized by Rhys Ifans), he must confront the totally other, something that falls well outside of his ability to impose rationality on the world.
As Jed throws himself into Joe's life with increasing passion, (for reasons none of us truly understand, including Jed), Joe's house of cards begins to fall. (Great to see Bill Nighy as Robin, one of Joe's friends, he is about as consistently good as an actor can be. Samantha Morton plays Joe's paramour with compelling feeling, her understated approach works much better here than it did in Code 46.) That Jed is not merely weird, but quite mad, only becomes evident incrementally. In this gradual process of revelation, Joe's own madness is forced to the surface.
Roger Michell directed Enduring Love with tremendous confidence; we drift into the inevitable conflict almost without noticing the scenery passing by. This restraint has a wonderful way of building tension and making it possible for us to care about Joe who, truth be told, is not the most charming bloke in town. But his sense of claustrophobia and mounting tension make us worry about him at least, if not root for him. The film is also admirable in its refusal to provide glib, saccharine answers to the thorny questions it asks. Bad title, excellent movie."
Obsession Is Fatal: Brilliant Opening and Good Acting of Dan
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 11/22/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is what you find in Roger Michell's `Enduring Love', filmed adaptation of Booker Prize winner Ian McEwan. 1), excellent acting from Daniel Craig (going to be the next James Bond). 2) The film's brilliantly constructed opening sequence. But you need to stop questioning about so many plot holes and incomprehensible and illogical behaviors from the protagonist, Joe, an academic living with a girlfriend.
After being involved in a suddne and terrible accident (of what, you may not believe, but it's a big balloon) which happened in the beautiful suburb of Oxford, Joe (Daniel Craig), university professor, starts to think about the possibility that something could have been done by him. While his girlfriend, sculptor Claire (Samantha Morton), perhaps rightly, thinks that Joe is thinking too much about his `guilt,' a stranger Joe met at the accident scene suddenly calls him.
He is Jed (Rhys Ifans), to whom the accident is more than an accident. To Jed, it is a divine power that made the two of them meet each other. With a fixed idea that gets clearer to Joe and us as the story goes on, Joe, now alienated from Claire, is driven to the edge of madness ... or is this madness after all?
Now, here is a simple question. You find a guy, who keeps showing up wherever you go; who stands outside your house even in the rain; who says something unsettling. And you have a kind, understanding friend by your side, and that friend happens to be Samantha Morton. What would you do? Listen to the guy? Or call the police? Simple question, isn't it?
Very slick editing and clever use of color notwithstanding, we are only puzzled, being unable to accept the logics of the story. We know too well that it is Joe who makes things complicated, doing what a normal person would not do. Even his sympathetic friends (played by Bill Nighy and Susan Lynch, both good) fail to persuade him to do what he should do, then, so what can we do?
To keep watching the mental journey of Joe is not without intriguing moments, thanks to Daniel Craig's credible acting. I am ready to admit that his acting talent is considerable. But the problem is his character. He doesn't seem to realize long enough the motive of this weird stranger, which is too obvious to us, and I couldn't understand why Joe misses every opportunity to do the right thing while he can continue making elaborate theories about love and relation. If Roger Michell and the filmmakers think that audiences can relate to the tormented teacher, they are utterly mistaken. On book, characters can keep thinking on and on in their brain, using words, words, words, even exchanging words and doing illogical discussions with imaginary friends. On film, they look either silly or boring. Or both, like this film.
If I remember correctly, similar things happened in `The Comfort of Strangers' which is also based on another McEwan novel. Probably you see the film in a different way, but I couldn't finally bring myself to share the viewpoint of Joe, despite the superb acting of all the players, good images, and first-rate editing. `Enduring Love' is not a bad film; only it's a bad thriller, or a decent film with a bad thriller format. And the ending is ... well, I know it's coming."