Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ask the Dust: Grade D


Ask the Dust

Colin Farrell, Salma Hayek, Donald Sutherland; Director Robert Towne

Farrell and Hayek meet in 1930’s LA, he a struggling writer, she a waitress. They fight, argue, then predictably fall in love. Then she dies of TB. That’s it. There is utterly no plotline. The dialog is trite, scenes cliché, revealing racism. In depression-era LA? Shocking! No acting takes place (except Sutherland). The stars look good but there is no chemistry. Shouting is how emotion is expressed. Dreadful directing. The pace is mind-numbing. Dark, muddy, colorless photography. Poor period music. Costumes are too cute to be believed. The only saving graces are 1. Towne (who wrote Chinatown) has a good eye for period LA sets, and 2. You get to see both Colin and Salma stark bare naked. Is that enough to save this movie from utter failure? I’m feeling generous.

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