Watched three (two and a half, really) movies this weekend: One that I loved (Being Julia), one that I liked (Closer) and one that I had to turn off because it was too depressing (Love Liza). Don’t get me wrong, I like depressing, the more depressing the better. BRING it! But this one (about a guy avoiding grieving for his wife—she committed suicide—by becoming a gasoline huffer), well, it was relentless and it was sort of a dark day and I just couldn’t take it.

<iframe style="float:left" src=", Being Julia is based on an W. Somerset Maugham book and is set in 1938 London. Julia is a famous stage actress who falls for a much younger man. Annette Benning plays Julia beautifully, allowing herself to flower and fade as the scene requires. Jeremy Irons plays her husband—they are a perfect match. All in all, a wonderful cast, acting wonderfully. is supposed to be some gritty, realist view of the underbelly of love, but to me it came across as artifice. The bad love presented to us, desperate and unrepentant seemed contrived and trying too hard to be bad. Still, it has some shining moments, most of which are because of Clive Owen. He plays his part beautifully—he’s a bit of rough, but sexy and sometimes soft. Natalie Portman was also quite good, although I had difficulty accepting her as a stripper. Jude Law was good, but his character was really an asshole and, well, he’s a bit too skinny. Julia Roberts was pretty good, except in the beginning she seemed too much to be herself instead of her part. Anyway, I liked it though the picture it paints of love, monogamy (or the lack thereof), desire and betrayal is not a pretty one. Oh, I should add I really loved the music in Closer, by this guy: Damien Rice.

And as for Love Liza, it stars Philip Seymour Hoffman who is one of my favorites. I think he’s an excellent actor and I’m sure that many people were enthralled by this film but I wasn’t one of them. Perhaps if it hadn’t been raining for three days straight I might have felt differently?

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