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Lady In The Water [HD DVD] [Import anglais]
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Cleveland è il guardiano di un condominio che aiuta una giovane inquilina che si trova in pericolo. Dopo questo avvenimento scoprirà che la donna nasconde un misterioso segreto... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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The film has a "B" movie knockoff of a Spielberg feel. Every time they look up you expect a bicycle crossing the moon.
The characters and the actors look like cardboard knockoffs of famous actors more than people. Bryce Dallas Howard in make up looks like a young Tilda Swinton.
Then "Whisper in the Noise" mangles a great Dylan song "Times are a Changing"
Grate concept - pitiful execution.
Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits
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In addition to being visually stunning in every way, Lady in the Water has just the right balance of action, horror, drama and comedy, supported by a great cast of actors that bring everything to this story.
I am very much moved by this film and it is one of the few that I can watch again and again. If you have just a little fraction left of that innocent, inner child, then you will surely find the magic here as well.
At its heart, LADY IN THE WATER is a fable based on a bedtime story Shyamalan made up for his own children. The plot centers on a sea nymph named Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) who mysteriously appears in the swimming pool of a run-down apartment complex in Philadelphia. The manager of the complex, Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), tries to figure out who Story is, where she came from, and what her mission is. She tells Heep that she's a "Narf" from the "Blue World" who has come in search of a writer whose words are destined to change the future. After she finds him, she can return to the Blue World . . . that is, if she can elude the vicious "Scrunts" that are determined to stop her. To help Story, Cleveland must identify certain people from among the apartment complex's oddball residents to play the roles of "Healer," "Guardian," "Symbolist," and "Guild." Only they can help her get home.
There are some really good things about LADY IN THE WATER. First, Paul Giamatti is phenomenal as beleaguered apartment manager Cleveland Heep. This is a guy who was once a doctor, with a wife and children . . . but now he's alone and depressed and without an apparent purpose in life. He is onscreen for almost all of the film's 110 minutes, and he's wonderfully watchable. Some of the other actors are also quite good, including Bryce Dallas Howard as Story (she comes across as sort of a mermaid with legs), Cindy Cheung as Korean student Young-Soon Choi (who helps Cleveland unravel the strands of the fairy tale), and Bob Balaban has some of the film's funniest moments as a self-absorbed film critic (more on him later).
Also, the juxtaposition of the fantastical fairy tale and the very down-to-earth reality of the apartment complex and its residents can be quite charming. There's something very satisfying in watching Giamatti's character struggle with absurd terms like "Narf" and "Scrunt" as he tries to figure out whether the guy who spends his days doing crossword puzzles could be the "Symbolist." Is the group of over-the-hill hippies (who smoke and philosophize all day) the "Guild"? And is Clevelend himself Story's "Guardian"? And does it matter than none of this makes one bit of logical sense?
Not really. But other things do matter. The fairy tale (or bedtime story, as Shyamalan calls it) is so convoluted, and so difficult to explain, that too much has to be told through exposition. Heep asks Young-Soon about the story, and she asks her mother (who speaks only Korean) - the conversations between the three of them are meant to inform the viewers, but it loses its charm fairly quickly. Additionally, it's not at all clear why only these two Korean women have heard this particular fairy tale . . . and why couldn't Heep have just checked on the Internet? More egregious are the dreadful special effects, which look like something out of the old "Power Rangers" TV show. The Scrunt, which is supposed to be a creature with grass-like fur, looks like a cartoon wolf draped in AstroTurf. The "Tarturic" (described as horrifying creatures sent to stop the Scrunts) look like funny monkeys covered in twigs. And the supposedly majestic "Great Eatlon" (the giant eagle meant to carry Story home to the Blue World at the end of the film) is not really shown at all. For this film to work, the creatures need to be as real as Story is -- and they are not.
But the most difficult problem with LADY IN THE WATER is Shyamalan's insistence on using the film not only for shameless self-promotion (after all, he casts himself as visionary writer Vick Ran, whose words are destined to change the world) but to get revenge against the critics who had the audacity to criticize THE VILLAGE (released the year before LADY). Bob Balaban's character is a smug, arrogant film critic who mocks the films he's paid to review - his is the only character to die in this film, and it's clear that he is a product of Shyamalan's rage. These things make the film seem uncomfortably personal, as if we're all watching a Shyamalan home movie, or somehow wading around inside Shyamalan's murky brain. And the story itself gets lost somewhere along the way.
Why do I still like this movie? I honestly don't know. I like the idea that myths and fables carry within them a grain of truth. As Young-Soon tells Heep, "It's time to prove some stories are real." I also like the idea that we all have a purpose in life, but it's not always easy to discover what that purpose is. In this film, Heep is lost. He no longer has hope in the future, and at its core LADY is expressing his longing "to believe in more than this dreadful world." That's a longing I share.
I see glimpses in this film of what it could have been, had Shyamalan been able to step away from the production enough to see it without his own very personal blinders. Heep's journey is deeply meaningful, as revealed in the climactic scene when he and the others are finally coming together to help Story. Through his experiences with her and with those pledged to help her, he finds not only his true purpose but a real understanding of what it means to live. This is so much more important, and so much more engaging, than the silly side-plot about a writer whose words will save the world. Shyamalan's films will not save the world. That is not his purpose, whether he realizes this or not. LADY IN THE WATER should have been a beautiful little film about one man's spiritual journey. Even as it is, it's a charming parable worth watching. See it for what it could have been, rather than for what it is.
Story, is the name of the woman, perhaps those who save the Village, recognize her as the blind brave daughter Ivy Walker, takes on another roles this time as a narf, a word that does not really exist in an English dictionary but a word that takes on meaning by the time the movie ends. She is a fairy like creature that is on a mission and needs help from Cleveland Heep the stuttering superintendent who loses his stutter and finds his true calling. She needs to find a safe passage back to her own world, which is guarded by an evil wolf like beast, invisible to all but those who know how to find it. Together all the characters have to decipher the answers behind what she says and in all reality they have to save the modern world. She tells one of them that he will be a great orator and his book will change the world, cease wars and bring peace, she tells another that he can heal; others learn that they will have profound impact on the feuding life and who will improve life around them if they take the risks and do what she says.
This was a visually stunning and memorable movie, with hair rising music and some really jumpy special effects, especially with the wolf. Yes there are monsters and there are casualties but then there is a sense of purpose, of a mystery coming together brought upon this mysterious creature, who in my interpretation is an angel. She brings hope and love and unites those who sulk and lose their touch. It's a beautiful story that leaves one thinking long after leaving the theater, a story that feeds the soul and feeds a hungry mind ready for something different. It's a fairy tale that leaves one feeling good and light, with hope and understanding of the future. M. Night Shyamalan is such a fantasy wizard that no matter how outrageous his stories are they have a ring to truth about them. I can't wait to see what he cooks up next, for he is fabulous for those who like something special.
- Kasia S.