25th HOUR

Well, what a difference a film makes! I was just watching a film that was over two hours long and seemed like ten hours. Then I watched 25th Hour, over two hours long and felt like 30 minutes.

After The Missing, which I could admire for all of its craft but was slogging through the plot, delving into this world felt like breathing fresh air. Another dark plot but vive la difference.

You know, there are many who would sight Spike Lee’s beginning splash into major films as his most memorable work and they might be right. It’s hard to make a bigger splash than She’s Gotta Have It and then Do the Right Thing back to back. A star director was unmistakably born and came of age, just like that.

But I have been admiring very much his current spate of films and stage of development. His sensibilities seem to lean on his

Many people have commented about working with Spike - what a visionary he is, how fast he works and how clearly he knows what he wants. All of that is abundantly clear on the screen. Every scene stands alone as complete. Every relationship has so many layers that you know you’ll never see them all in the space of the movie. Every performance is blanketed with the kind of production values that make good actors even greater. There are times in this movie, as with all of Spike’s movies, where I get lost bu

Word on the Hollywood “street” is that Ed Norton has overpriced and overvalued himself right now on the film roulette wheel, but I think I may be with him. This guy, plain and simple, acts his ass off. Watching him in all these dramatic vignettes, he is doing so many things your head spins and he is doing them all cleanly.

Ed is sort of the anti-drama actor. He rejects any impulse to falsely punch up the drama in the scene. He just digs deeper within and comes up with more accuracy. His acting is always utterly grounded and yet can spontaneously dip into his vast emotional catalogue j

Norton’s love interest is an actress that I’ve mentioned many times here, Rosario Dawson. I have yet to see what Dawson’s range is but it hasn’t really mattered so far. The camera loves her and so do I. She is a sensual and intriguing presence, with a groundedness that pulls you into her and makes her a wonderful, feminine energy fill out to the Lee / Norton combination.

I liked this film a lot. As usual, Spike leaves you with more questions to ponder than answers that sew things up. But the questions are important and invigorating. And leave you the richer for having seen it.

Copyright © 2006 CTarr