Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MOVIE: The Band's Visit

This is a small movie. Very diminutive in scope and quite lacking in budget. The characters are mostly flat. The setting is an un-noteworthy Israeli desert town. And the whole movie spans a single day and night.

Fortunately, The Band's Visit is much larger than the sum of its small parts. Stripped of all pretense and cruft, it is a clean, uncluttered story centered around Tewfiq, the leader of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, and their unexpected, overnight delay in a slow, desolate city.

Things I thoroughly enjoyed:
  • the clone-like appearance of the band members' uniforms
  • everyone speaking in mottled English
  • the informal and lighthearted aspects of Dina versus the rigid formality of Tewfiq
  • "My Funny Valentine"
  • The band members going in different adventures but all ending up at Dina's apartment
Very crisp. Very clean.  Subtle, unintrusive direction. Fluid acting. Unpretentious dialog. Satisfying and pleasant ending.

Great date movie. But too slow for the kids.

Rent it. Enjoy it. I did.

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