Movies to go and to go to

Movies to go and to go to

By Jim Spelman, Avid Movie Goer

Last week I saw One Hour Photo. After enduring the soda and auto ads and a half-dozen trailers of upcoming films (several looked like must-sees), I was hoping the feature would live up to its billings. Believe me, it did! The writing, directing and Robin Williams are superior. Their complementary nuances tweaked my insides almost continuously as I watched the story unfold.

The colors used throughout the film are eerily bland. Pale blues combined with off-whites and other faded pastels lend many scenes a ghostly aura. Williams’ nondescript washed-out clothes and his short, cropped, pale orange hair help the usually-effervescent clown become a nerdy, doleful victim, a passive but secretly angry person, seemingly capable of almost anything.

Williams is superb in this role, which adds substance to my belief that most good clowns are even better actors. His facial expressions, gait and body language complement his well-written lines. Only a few minutes into the movie, I was shrinking into my seat, wondering what kind of horror I might be about to witness.

The plot takes a long time to develop, but instead of putting me to sleep, it kept me cringing most of the way. I kept wondering, what’s about to happen, and when? Where will this weird-looking fellow’s bizarre behavior take him and me? When is his secret love affair going to erupt into terror? The twists, turns and surprises the film offers are worth the angst. That’s all I can tell. Any more would spoil it for you.

Roger Ebert awarded four stars to Signs, which, as I watched it, put me to sleep several times. He gives One Hour Photo three and a half stars, but I think it’s much better than Signs and well worth four plus. Don’t miss it!

Jim Spelman is a local attorney.

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