My Blueberry Nights
My Blueberry Nights is the first English-language film from Director Wong Kar Wai. It follows Elizabeth, a young woman with a freshly broken heart, played just right by Norah Jones, in her first film role. CJSF volunteer, Kate Lerman, reviews…
Elizabeth goes through a painful breakup and meets a Café owner, Jeremy, played by Jude Law. She then heads to various cities across America, working in diners and bars, and sending Jeremy postcards as she travels. Along her way, Elizabeth meets people in need of more hope in their lives.
Director Wong Kar Wai’s films are known for his lush visuals, and My Blueberry Nights is no exception. The risk with so much focus on the visuals, is that the plot is put on the back-burner. The “end result” is so deceivably simple, and fairly predictable, that it’s easy to be cynical of the story.
What it lacks in depth, My Blueberry Nights makes up for in being extremely visually engaging. Simply put, the film’s real purdy, but with a reason. It’s not just and flashy camera work, as the visual style enhances the emotions and mood that the film aims for.
The film's mood is one of both melancholy and hope; dreamy without being a fantasy, and emotional without being laughably-cheesy. And like Elizabeth’s trip around America, it’s the journey, not the final destination, that’s engaging and illuminating.
A cast standout is Chan Marshall, aka musician Cat Power, as Jude Law’s old flame, a young woman named Katya. Aside from an emotionally complex performance, I was extremely thankful that Marshall didn’t do a garish Russian accent. That’s the only thing that would have broken the mood that her scene with Jude Law created.
Not only is Chan Marshall’s performance memorable, but her song, “The Greatest”, was used throughout the film. It’s been days and I still can’t shake it out of my head.
Though not for everyone, especially if you like your movies fast and loud, My Blueberry Nights creates a romantic, hopeful meditation on love and relationships that melted my cynical heart; and that’s quite the achievement.
My Blueberry Nights opens May 16th in Vancouver.