Friday Night In: The Fall

Artwork by Anthony Falbo

Artwork by Anthony FalboIn today’s economy the idea of staying in and renting a movie for $4-$5 (or just ordering it via Netflix) is a lot more appealing that the looming $12 (per person) you are going to spend just on a ticket at the theater, not to mention the $10 soda, $15 candy bar and the ever-popular $55 small bag of popcorn.

So, I am here writing a column recommending a new movie to rent on Friday nights, highlighting films that you haven’t seen in a while or may not have heard of ever or films you heard of but never got a chance to see in theaters and still haven’t gotten around to renting.  I am set to be your go-to guru for all things replacing the infamous dinner and movie night-out and making it dinner and a movie night-in.

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If they truly are comparing today’s economy to that of the Great Depression, it seems only appropriate that we look to our entertainment and films to provide the same level of escapism as they did then. And in my opinion, one of the best films in recent years to truly transport its audience to another world while simultaneously challenging them intellectually and emotionally is, The Fall.

Written and directed by Tarsem (The Cell, Wanderlust) the film follows the story of an unlikely pair who find themselves in a hospital in 1920s California.  Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, The Good Shephard) plays Roy Walker, a paralyzed stuntman who enlists the help of young Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a girl stuck in the hospital due to a broken arm, to aid him in obtaining copious amounts of morphine. In order to get Alexandria to help, Roy ends up transporting them both to another world through a vibrant tale of adventure–the story of the Blue Bandit seeking vengeance against his enemy Governor Odious along with the help of 4 other unlikely heroes. The bond that forms between Roy and Alexandria is captivating but the unraveling of Roy’s stories is what makes this enchated film addicting.

Pace gives an extraordinary performance and proves his caliber as an actor. It’s refreshing to see talent again on the-fall-21screen (after countless films cast solely for the horror that is name-recognition). And young Catinca Untaru is probably the most endearing child actor to come on screen since Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam.

Honest, daring and painstakingly beautiful, The Fall is truly one of best films in recent years. Tarsem has created a film that evokes the dreamy feeling and sense of imagination that possessed us all in childhood but that we have lost touch with in adulthood.  So, please…stop considering renting Twilight (for the first or 16th time and try this film out…I promise you will be awed).

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