Monday, April 26, 2010
Iceland's Dagur Kári offers up THE GOOD HEART; Cox and Dano shine; TM does a Q&A from memory
Dagur Kári, shown below, whose first full-length film, the bizarrely funny and extremely energetic Noi, the Albino (Nói albínói) back in 2003 caused some critical heads to turn his way. Kári's following film, Dark Horse (Voksne mennesker), despite a couple of small festival showings, was hardly seen on these shores, but that should not be the case with his new one (and first in English), THE GOOD HEART.
Paul Dano (the other, Brian Cox, was to have appeared but was stuck in Europe, due to volcanic ash), we conversed with that the writer/director, whose English is pretty good, and learned that this project took several years to come to fruition. (For the first time in his interviewing history, TrustMovies managed to set up his digital recorder, then forgot to hit "record," so the Q&A interspersed here is coming from his ever-dimmer memory bank.)
Red Eye to Red, The Escapist to Trick 'r Treat -- that this sort of praise, true as it is, must grow tiresome for him to hear.) Paul Dano (show below, with a feathered friend who proves quite important to the film), who has also managed to be expert in literally every film he's made, no matter if the film itself might come up a little short, plays a homeless young man who is taken under the wing of the Cox character.
Psycho Tony Perkins. When TM asked Dano about this during the Q&A, the actor seems at first surprised but then agreed that, yes, the type of roles he is offered (and then selects from among) tend to go in this direction. "How do you keep your stability" another blogger wanted to know, and Dano explained that he is fortunate indeed to have a girlfriend of 2-1/2 years who will spank him (not literally, he assured us) whenever he gets out of line. (One of my compatriots later informed TM, who tends not to keep up with who's dating whom, that the girlfriend is none other than Zoe Kazan. So, good for this talented young couple -- who probably keeps each other in line, in the way that smart "significant others" tend to do.)
Isild LeBesco (of À tout de suite, Backstage and Wild Camp: click the title of the latter for a review by my Greencine compatriot Craig Phillips). Le Besco is extraordinarily good at expressing youthful rebellion and outrage at conventionality, among other things. But she does need a trace of character to do this, and she gets practically none from this writer/director. Instead, we have "generic woman" intruding on a pair of happy guys and making their life, particularly that of Cox's character, miserable. April, as she's called, has no back-story except that she's a flight attendant suddenly out of work. And that's it. We know Dano's Lucas, at least from from his homeless routine, hospital stay and relationship with Cox's Jacques, who has enough sentimental back-story to choke a horse. Of April, we learn nothing, except that Kári intends her to wreak havoc on our poor guys and their male bastion of sanctity.
Magnolia Pictures) opens this Friday, April 30, at four theaters in the Southern California area, and one in New York City. All its current and forthcoming playdates, theaters and cities can be found here.