First and foremost, a huge shout-out of thanks to the anonymous commenter who recommended The Fall to me last week. I definitely would not have known about this movie otherwise. I found its trailer online and was then surprised to see that it was playing at the independent theater two blocks from my house... so I went to see it. Because after the awful reviews of The Happening started rolling in (plus the corroborating comments received on this site), I knew I definitely wasn't going to pay for that one!
In short, The Fall is a very bizarre movie. It's one part The Princess Bride, one part Big Fish, one part The Wizard of Oz, and two parts original stuff. If you haven't seen any of the aforementioned films, you may think The Fall the cleverest thing to hit screens in quite a while. But I kept comparing it to those other movies. Don't get me wrong, however, it's still really good... just... strange.
The premise is that a little girl is in a hospital in L.A. in the 1920s, and she meets a fellow patient. He tells her a story over the course of several days, and the story pretty much becomes the majority of the movie. This story he tells is utterly whacked out, but if you have an active imagination like I do, then you'll appreciate it.
No matter what you think of the story, however, there's no denying the beautiful cinematography and eye-popping colors in the movie. I usually don't go ga-ga about that kind of stuff, but it was so in-your-face in The Fall that there was really no way around being impressed. You can get a good idea of the visual effects through the trailer:
So let's talk about the real reason I enjoyed this movie so much: the two main actors. The five-year-old Alexandria (played by Catinca Untaru) rocks the house, plain and simple. You should know by now that I am not a fan of most kid actors, but this little girl was amazing--to the point where I wondered if they even gave her a script, or perhaps just filmed her true reactions to the various situations and conversations. If she was given lines to memorize, then I'm even more astonished. You just have to see her performance to understand what I'm saying.
Her buddy in the hospital was played by Lee Pace, and I'm happy to announce that he is my new celebrity crush. I was shocked to learn that he's on the TV show Pushing Daisies, because he looks totally different (read: worse) in that show (or else I would've watched it--yes, I'm that shallow). Now I feel inclined to rent Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day solely because he's in it.
The bad news for a lot of you is that The Fall is only in limited release... so you may have to wait a bit to see it when it comes out on DVD. But I do think it's worth watching, so put it on your lists now!