Friday, November 10, 2006

Life Is a Mystery

Two films opening this weekend – an existential comedy (Stranger Than Fiction) in which a man finds his life slipping out of his control, and a far-reaching drama interconnecting several people (Babel) – pose what I believe to be a very important question: What’s in a life?

Each arrives at the same conclusion: Life is what you make of it, so make something of it.

I could go on and on and tell you about how much I enjoyed both films (which I really did), but I won’t. It is a holiday, after all, and today’s post is already tragically late.

I’ll say this much, though: Stranger Than Fiction is lovelier than reality, which should make for terrific escapist fun. The film’s star, Will Ferrell, delivers what has got to be his finest performance to date; he was revelatory.

Babel, meanwhile, is decidedly heavier in tone; its all-star cast – led by Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, and Gael García Bernal – shines (thanks to Guillermo Arriaga’s accomplished screenplay) under the direction of Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, particularly co-stars Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barraza.

So, see these films, don’t see these films – just make sure you do something.

My Rating ***½ (Babel); *** (Stranger Than Fiction).

Photo: Columbia Pictures (Stranger Than Fiction).

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