My Blueberry Nights (12A)
Friday 22 February 2008
Wong Kar-Wai, director of the sublime In the Mood for Love, has made his first film in English, though from the stiltedness of his script you may wish he'd stuck to Mandarin.
It's basically a series of connected vignettes that kick off with heartbroken Norah Jones bonding over a blueberry pie one night with Jude Law's New York café owner. Then she hits the road, sending him postcards about the not-very-fascinating encounters she has as a waitress – a sozzled cop (David Strathairn), his blowsy wife (Rachel Weisz), a tough poker player (Natalie Portman).
The director's eye is absorbed by Americana – diners, Cadillacs, casinos, pies – in the same way as Wim Wenders, and his photographer Darius Khondji films it all in a woozy poetic style that's very like a superior music video. But the hard-luck stories it peddles are so fey and feeble that irritation quickly sets in.
If Kar-Wai wanted a Tom Waits mood, he should have got Tom Waits to write the script, instead of himself and Lawrence Block. Jones is perfectly fine in her screen debut, but Law, doing another "Northern" accent every bit as tin-eared as his one in Sleuth, has become a liability. It's a good-looking picture, admittedly, but it is also fantastically boring.
Watch the 'My Blueberry Nights' trailer
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Game of Thrones season 5: Emilia Clarke praises characters who 'accept their femininity'
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate