Friday, 23 September 2011

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - One Day

Directed by: Lone Scherfig

Produced by: Nina Jacobson

Screenplay by: David Nicholls

Starring: Anne Hathaway
Jim Sturgess

Cinematography by: Benoit Delhomme

Editing by: Barney Pilling

Music by: Rachel Portman

Studio(s): Random House Films
Film4 Productions
Color Force
Distributed by: Focus Features

Release date(s): August 19, 2011

Running time: 107 minutes

Country(s): United States
United Kingdom

Language: English

Budget: $15 million

Box office revenue (as of publication): $37, 087, 485

Guess who's back? Back again? Well, of course you know who's back. After all, you are reading the blog of this nincompoop who managed to lose his glasses whilst inebriated, so kudos to you from me for actually reading this blog. I don't know whether to fear or sympathise in your seeking advice from one such as I. Anyway, I will have a number of reviews coming in, i.e. the usuals such as Rango, I Saw The Devil, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy yadda yadda yadda. Also, I think I will try to get down to seeing Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur, so keep thous eyes posted on this motherfucking blog!

After that somewhat slapdash introduction, methinks I will get down to reviewing the movie One Day. I was looking forward to this film as it features Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathway, both of whom I like very much, as the film's leads. On a side note, after reviewing Fifty Dead Men Walking, I found I was quoted on on his role as Martin McGartland. I am happy for this, as I have viewed the site, as a fan of Sturgess, and consider this a big plus for the blog. Anyway, post sucking up, here's a synopsis. One Day, based on David Nicholls' novel, follows Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) over the course of a number of years on the day July 15th in an episodic form. When I went to see the film in the Strand Cinema (great cinema), the print was a bit screwy, black lines and jumping fuzzes at the bottom of the screen. After complaining, the folks went in there to try and fix the movie, and about thirty mins in, one of the employees came in and apologised for the cut and offered a complimentary ticket for another screening (bless them), which was very nice. Unfortunately, that is just digital projection for you, and this screening stands as a strong argument to bring back full-time projectionists.

Anywho, here comes your (excuse me, my) pros regarding One Day. As the film is completely written around Hathaway and Sturgess, it would only make sense that their performances should be good, and they most certainly are. Both of the leads give the film a sense of great acting prowess, nailing both the emotional and comic sides of the spectrum, touching the right points that the film is aiming for. Also, there is an interesting dynamic in which at the beginning one of the two is more dominant and later on the other becomes the more confident. It serves the purpose of the story very well, and both Hathaway and Sturgess portray this transition diligently. In the technical department, Barney Pilling's editing enables us to legitimately buy the idea of all this important stuff happening coincidentally (or not, as the screenwriter) on the same day over the course of the number of the years. It is solid and efficient work in the cutting room. Finally, for a film that is very nuts-and-bolts under it's surface, it handles itself rather well and has a genuine sense of charm.

On my final note on the pros, it brings me appropriately to what is wrong about One Day. As I said, it is very nuts-and-bolts. David Nicholls, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, has wrote a rather base, predictable and frankly dull screenplay. I don't know if the book has the same problem, but I find that the screenplay here goes in all the places I expected it to. As the years were going by, I was able to guess the way the next year was going to go before it actually happened. I felt like I was a prophet of some sort while watching this film. Also, it really reeks of cliche. I have seen this kind of romantic dramedy done so many times before and One Day does not add anything original to the plate. This is reflected in the score by Rachel Portman. I know this is personal opinion, but it is one of those very overt orchestral scores with an excess of strings that says 'this is where you cry, this where you laugh, yadda yadda yadda.' If there is one thing I don't like in a film, and I don't think it serves any film well, it's a score that tells people how they feel. If the score from One Day was removed, this would easily become a very good film. Unfortunately, it indulges severely in this department, and as a result, ends up feeling like a very faulty film.

One Day certainly has it's problems, in that the script is nuts-and-bolts, has been done so many times before and is incredibly predictable. I don't know if David Nicholls' book is any different than his adaptation, but this is dull stuff. Also, Rachel Portman's score gives it a real smell of atypical romanic dramedy and does nothing to set this film apart from the rest of the mould. That said, I must compliment the fine work of Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess for really elevating what could have been a dreadfully nauseating work into something very watchable. Hathaway deliver a really great performance that ekes out Sturgess, but then again, Sturgess is saddled with the worse role. Also, Barney Pilling's editing is a fine bit of work, in that we end up actually buying the idea of these different things happening on the same day, and it gives the film a pace and a sense of urgency. All in all, One Day is not the film it could be, but as a night out stands as a decent watch.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 5.2/10

The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Good (to be back)

P.S. Fastest review ever! Done this (edited and all) in less than an hour! Boo yeah (R.I.P. Macho Man Randy Savage) Is it Jacques Brel, alcohol, the Oldboy soundtrack by Yeong-Wook Jo or all three that has given me this speed? You, my friends decide! Toodles!

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