Thursday, May 7, 2009

E! Online Reviews 'Little Ashes'

Review: As Dali in Little Ashes, Pattinson is Depp-Lite
Grade: C
Review in a Hurry: Vampiric hottie Robert Pattinson trades bloodlust for boy-lust, playing bi-curious surrealist Salvador Dalí, who has a romance with revolutionary author García Lorca. Sounds smokin', right? It should've been. But soggy plotting and Pattinson's tepid turn keep Ashes from catching fire.
The Bigger Picture: This Madrid-set period piece would appear a major departure for Twilight star Pattinson (though Ashes was shot prior). But once again he's a beautiful, brilliant, brooding loner who succumbs to forbidden love, with homosexuality subbing for undead/mortal coupling as taboo. And once again, that repression leads to countless scenes of long, mooning stares. It's the teen-romance version of the Spanish modern-art world.
When 18-year-old Dalí arrives at university, his bizarre blend of shyness, arrogance, and talent attracts the attention of two of the school's social elite, Frederico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán) and future filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty). Lorca finds himself sexually drawn to the quirky newbie, and during a seaside vacay, their friendship evolves into The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name in a Catholic-Dominated Society.
On cue, a soulful Spanish guitar strums as they stroll on the beach and frolic in the moonlit tides. No raw Brokeback sensuality here—or chemistry.

Freaked out by his feelings, Dalí flees to Paris and finds success as a painter, while Lorca struggles to accept his sexuality and carry on with life. The film fares better when focusing on Lorca, whom Beltran imbues with passion and charisma. Pattinson, though pretty in puffy shirts and cream linen suits, throws everything at the canvas (expect scenes of sobbing and smearing himself with paint) but fails to create a cohesive portrait of the man behind the eccentricities and funny moustache. Paging Johnny Depp

A drably scripted indie with Merchant-Ivory aspirations (see their gay-themed Maurice instead), scattered Ashes can't rise above the tortured-artist and tortured-closet-case clichés, and despite all its Big Themes and chatter about art and religion and revolution and death, ends up saying very little.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Perhaps Pattinson's popularity will inspire a new audience to check out the works of Dalí, Lorca, and Buñuel. Un Chien Andalou will blow their minds!

1 comment:

Lucy said...


“How To Be” Is a tender story of the struggle to come of age on your own, in your terms, and having no clue how to do it!

Having read a few interviews with the movies’ star, Robert Pattinson, I wonder if Art is the antithesis of Pattinson’s outward persona? Besides the acting experience and the income, I wonder if this is what drew him to the part?

The movie, like the character, is clumsy, awkward, warm, and quirky. Art’s depressive personality and inability to make decisions, leaves him immobile. His fractured relationship with his parents is more exaggerated by his choice of “mates”. One an agoraphobic and annoying twit, whose daddy pays for his apartment and everything in it . The other a “Mr.. I AM All That” who takes a tumble off his board at the skate park and begins to cry like a five year old.

The only glimmer of hope for Art is his relationship with his girlfriend. Realizing that he’s not the “brooding mysterious type” as she initially thought, she breaks it off with him. With nowhere else to go, he moves back in with his parents and promptly gets fired from a “volunteer job” at a senior center.

Dazed by his strokes of bad fortune, Art wanders into a bookstore. Here he comes face to face with a book that epitomizes a basic human frailty, the inability to accept blame. The book, aptly entitled “It’s Not Your Fault” sends Art spiraling full force into “fixing” himself. Liquidating an inheritance fund he hires the author of the book to be his personal therapist; his personal “move into my parent’s house with me” personal therapist. Often funny to watch (Art trying to get a hug from his mother is hilarious and so sad at the same time.) And the “Let’s do something as a family, like eat dinner together!” gets him a trip to the cemetery to visit his grand dad’s grave.

The film showcases Pattinson’s raw acting ability. Often contrived, when he allows himself to “Be” Art and not Pattinson’s or the director’s vision of Art, he plays the role flawlessly.

I was left feeling, if I had his parent’s I would probably go and lay in a road somewhere!
I was also left with wanting to take the boy to the Dr. to get some “Happy Pills”.