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My Blueberry Nights 

Kar Wai Wong

My Blueberry Nights
Directed by: Kar Wai Wong
Ever had one of those nights where you pass out eating blueberry pie, your lips caked with whipped cream? In My Blueberry Nights, sad Elizabeth (singer Norah Jones, in her acting debut) has at least two of them. It's a little alarming. But director Kar Wai Wong (2046) doesn't want you to find Elizabeth's sorrow-drowning binges off-putting (that's why, despite all her scarfing, Elizabeth stays lithe and Norah Jones-shaped). The pie eating's supposed to be poetic and charming. Wong works hard to enchant, with his unexpected camera angles (through windows, from around corners), food-porn close-ups of pie and ice cream, dreamy slo-mo sequences and pretty shots of sky. The film looks nice enough, and the cafe that Elizabeth eats her pie at (owned by a prospective new paramour, played by Jude Law) feels intimate. But the director's attempts at profundity are never really that deep. Elizabeth, looking to mend her broken heart, embarks on a cross-country nomadic journey. In each place she settles, she's called a new name (Lizzy, Beth), meets a new person and learns a new lesson about love and herself! It all feels contrived---and any lesson that a sassy free-spirited gambler (played by Natalie Portman) has to teach is not really one I'm interested in learning.
---Lindsay McCarney

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Vol 27, No 29
December 12, 2019

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