Punch-Drunk Love. I put this one off for a long, long time. I started very skeptical, but it won me over. Brings out sides of Sandler I never knew were there, and gotta respect a movie that drifts so freely from convention when it feels right. My PT Anderson power rankings:
- The Master
- Hard Eight
- Punch-Drunk Love
- There Will Be Blood
- Boogie Nights
Traffic. It took a good hour before I realized I’d seen it before. It took a good two seconds before I remembered that I have a huge man-crush on Benicio del Toro. He’s so good. Don Cheadle, too. The movie as a whole is pretty straightforward, docudrama-ish style, not played up for emotions like Babel or other multi-storyline, “highbrow globalist tearjerkers”. A few interesting things… the cool blue tint for U.S. interiors vs. the overexposed yellows in Mexico; the tension between identity and professional image; and the anecdote about Khrushchev and the two letters:
You know, when they forced Khrushchev out, he sat down and wrote two letters to his successor. He said, “When you get yourself into a situation you can’t get out of, open the first letter, and you’ll be safe. When you get yourself into another situation you can’t get out of, open the second letter”. Well, soon enough, this guy found himself into a tight place, so he opened the first letter. Which said, “Blame everything on me”. So he blames the old man, it worked like a charm. He got himself into a second situation he couldn’t get out of, he opened the second letter. It said, “Sit down, and write two letters”.