Thursday, September 4, 2008

Total Eclipse

I may not have the soul of a poet, but I can appreciate the passion inherent in the people who do. I admit, I haven't seen anything of David Thewlis outside of the Harry Potter movies, so this movie was something of a learning experience for me. Never let it be said that I have nothing to learn about the breadth of an actor's abilities.

The first thing I have to say is: wow. Not because I got to see both Thewlis and DiCaprio naked from a few interesting angles, but because I didn't expect the relationship (and especially the love scenes) to come across as realistic. Okay, ignore that this is a woman talking about two men coming together. I swear, I'm not referencing my porn collection. I've seen a few movies where the dramatic parts seem real, but when it comes to intimacy, it feels like two actors reading well-rehearsed lines and nothing more. There's a different feel to any movie when the actors on screen can make you forget they're just going by a script and make you believe they are the people they're portraying.

The story is a little choppy (taken from letters of the real men involved), but the play of emotions and the back-and-forth conflict of their relationship held a realism I haven't seen in a movie in a long while. This movie reminded me why I was such a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio in the 90s. Thewlis has gained a new level of my respect as an actor. I now know I've missed out by not seeing more of his movies.

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