Saturday, March 19, 2011

Need an adjustment?

“The Adjustment Bureau” ( is a fantasy staring Matt Damon as David Norris and Emily Blunt as Elise Sellas.  It was interesting to see a movie where the two main characters each have a chin cleft.  You just don’t see that much anymore.  Blunt is absolutely beautiful.  I have seen her before, but in “Bureau” she is a knock out.  Her character, Elise, is a dancer and has one or two scenes that highlight Blunt’s sculpted body and dance acumen.  Apparently she has never been a dancer, so she had to have a crash course in Terpsichore.  Check out her walk in those extremely high heels- beautiful. 

The movie itself deals with the notion of free will and how somebody or other must intervene from time to time to keep things on plan.  Now, if someone has made a plan for our collective lives, then the notion of free will is sort of out the door.  Yet, in spite of this conundrum, the movie works.  It attempts to show the power of love against the forces of the universe.  I bet live would not be so successful however with the banks in the US that seem to above even the laws of the universe. 

There is much to like in the performances of Blunt and Damon.  She is flirty and seductive.  He is upwardly mobile but has had some lapses in judgment that jeopardized his political career.  Damon does have a kind of wounded style that makes his characters sympathetic.  There is one scene, though, where the two are in bed with heavy-duty shadows.  I did notice the clefts, so I am pretty sure it was them.  They share a kiss that looks like one of the great failures in cinema lovemaking.  It does not look passionate or convincing.  I understand that Tom Cruise had to be coached by director Stanley Kubrick on how to be warm toward Nicole Kidman during the filming of “Eyes Wide Shut.”  Where is Stanley when we needed him for Matt?

Finally, New York is like a third character in the film.  It looks dramatic and beautiful. We don’t seem much of its grittier areas, but there is no particular reason that we should have. 

I liked this film but I am a sucker for well done romances.  “Portrait of Jennie” is another fantasy romance that I like a lot, even though it was made some 50 years ago.  I do not believe that there is some senior-level executive that controls our lives and as Tyler Perry said, “I can do bad all by myself.”  On the other hand I do think that there are institutions that do impinge on our free will, sometimes for the good but often not.  At least the movie made me think about it.

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