No, I’m not referring to Chet’s condition after his latest dose of Ritalin, cough drops, and glue sniffing. I just watched this movie on DVD.

I was very impressed. Great performances by both Robin Williams and Al Pacino and a great screenplay from start to finish. Some flaws held this movie back, but it still vies with Signs for best 2002 movie that I’ve seen. Considering Memento was one of my 2001 favorites, director Christopher Nolan is setting himself some high expectations for the future.

I have to believe Williams will be Oscar nominated for this role.

If you do a DVD buy or rental, make sure to watch the Christopher Nolan/Pacino “interview”.

I’d say Christopher Nolan is probably the most exciting young director in Hollywood, although he’ll have to move away from his trademark “mental state of man deteriorating” eventually and that will be his challenge.

This was a pretty good movie that I think did pretty badly at the box office. Definitely very good performances by both Robin Williams and Al Pacino–he even went without his trademark “yelling-at-the-top-of-my-voice” scene that he usually has in every film. The story was solid and the premise was interesting.

It made about 65 million, which isn’t too horrible considering the movie wasn’t an action packed adrenaline ride and released up against high profile movies. Granted it didnt generate the same profits/buzz Memento did but it didnt tank like Pluto nash.

It actually did really well at the box office, for a low budget film, because it received some reasonable promotion, unlike Memento. I just don’t understand why Memento didn’t get wide release – clearly the studio thinks the average joe movie goer is a moron.

That’s alot of favorites.

Insomnia is the third best of Nolan’s three films, with Memento being first and Following second. And Following is mostly good as a sort of confused blueprint for Memento. I liked Insomnia, but not as much as the original, where the morality was far more ambiguous because it didn’t have the “cop under investigation” subplot. And also because Stellan Skarsgaard > Al Pacino.

I thought it was an OK movie, but I just didn’t enjoy it like so many others seem to have. The story wasn’t bad, but the whole “insomnia” hook didn’t really go anywhere and made for some boring and awkward scenes.

On the acting front, I am so sick of Al Pacino playing the same role in every movie. The man has no range left in him. People complain about Ben Afleck and George Clooney playing essentially the same characters in every film, but Pacino has been getting away with it for the last 2 decades. In this film, he’s the moody veteran coach from Any Given Sunday, but with a badge.

Robin Williams was great in Insomnia though. Not once did I think “look, it’s Robin Williams playing a dramatic character.” He did a great job protraying his character as an author who may have read one too many of his own books.

Completely agree on all points. Now, where’s 24 hour party people playing? Heh, I’ve all of Winterbottom’s films to some degree, at least, so I’ll probably like it as well.

I thought the remake was better than the original. The cop-under-investigation part gave some significance to the death of his partner; in the original it was just a dumb accident, and there was no huge reason to cover it up. This made the central figure seem sociopathic which made the Dutch version rather tensionless compared to the American. In the American version, there is always the suspicion that Pacino really wanted his partner dead–yet Pacino continually tries to see himself as “good”. In the Dutch version, there’s no motive for the protagonist to kill his partner, but it doesn’t matter because the protagonist doesn’t see himself as “good” anyway.

One of the rare instances where making the protagonist more conventionally “heroic” (and the villain more villainous) actually made for a more complex character and a more involving film.

I believe the original film was Norwegian, not Dutch.

Or was it Danish? There’s really no excuse for confusing Danish and Dutch.

Let’s see how many Northern Europeans I can offend in one thread.

I think it was a Danish film about a Swede solving a crime in Norway.

Which is exactly why I liked the original better. It’s not about a “hot-shot cop with everything at stake!” It’s about a fairly bad cop, who has been sent to this remote place for reasons we are never privy to, and as the film goes on he reveals himself to be a near sociopath.

It’s my problem with so many (primarily American) films: why do they have to be larger than life? It’s what I call the “short cuts” syndrome; normal problems aren’t good enough. I recently watched “In the Bedroom,” which is a great film up until the last 30 minutes. Watch “Ordinary People” and see how a very similar film can come to a natural conclusion without resorting to ridiculousness. Or even “You Can Count on Me.”

I eagerly await the day when films can once more end without becoming stupid thrillers.

WARNING: In the Bedroom spoilers below…

To me, this indictment doesn’t apply to In the Bedroom, because a thriller would be about whether they got away with it, whether they crossed each other, whether the police suspected them during the ensuing investigation, and so on. You can’t have a thriller just end when In the Bedroom ends. Comparie this to Infidelity, which is the opposite of In the Bedroom in almost every sense although they’re both about the interrelation of domestic life and murder. Infidelity is a thriller. In the Bedroom is, well, an anti-thriller, if you will, in tone, pacing, characterization, and especially resolution.

The point of the end of In the Bedroom isn’t that he kills his son’s murderer. The point is that his own wife is in on it, that it’s what brings them back together and restores a sense of accord. And that the reveal occurs…in the bedroom*. Until then, we think it’s something he’s doing on his own. Their son’s murder divides them. The murder of their son’s murderer is their redemption, so the movie can end without going into crap about whether or not the guy operating the bridge will recognize Tom Wilkenson.


P.S. FWIW, Mr. Dulin is right on RE: Jackie Brown and Insomnia, the American remake and the original Finnish production.

*Although the title tied nicely into the movie, I hated how it sounded like one of those fortune cookie jokes: “Read your fortune and then add the words ‘in the bedroom’ Haw haw.”

You’re analysis of In the Bedroom is very astute, Tom. I can’t argue with that justification for the ending. However, I still felt unsatisfied by it. I didn’t feel like it was plausible, or that this is actually what these characters would do in this situation. I was fully engaged until the final act, and then I felt as if I was watching a different movie. I wanted to see how the characters from the first 2/3 would deal with what happened, and I didn’t buy the actions presented based on everything leading up to them. It was like watching Ordinary People and then swtiching over to Straw Dogs for the last 20 minutes.

On an only semi-related note, I saw both Guy Pearce and Marisa Tomei on the street in Manhattan the other day. Not together. And in LA during the holidays, I saw Judd Nelson! For the latter, I walking down Melrose with a friend, and I said “now my day is complete.” And he said “Think how he must feel: You recognized him.”

It’s still playing in Manhattan, I believe, which is surprising considering it’s been out for a few months. Steve Coogan is incredible in it, and I only hope that the semi-popularity of the film means that some US station will pick up Coogan’s hilarious BBC series, “I’m Alan Partridge,” to show over here.

However funny the film may be, though, I imagine it might be boring for someone who didn’t have a predisposition to like the subject matter (the Manchester music scene, minus The Smiths). There’s a fair amount of inside jokes and plenty of cameos, but the film goes to lengths to point them out. It’s ridiculously stylized and self-aware, but it’s never smarmy or self-congratulatory. Damn, that was such a good movie. I want to see it again now.

Edit: An even better Alan Partridge site.
And this video, which is hilarious.

It was definitly a Norwegian film. I think Stellan Skarsgård (Swede) was the only non-Norwegian involved.

As a Norwegian, I’m slightly offended :wink:



What NI said.

That’s my hometown you’re talking about, IIRC. :)

NI: Hvem er du for en?

This is on HBO Max. I was thinking of re-watching it. My friends and I had really bad timing on this movie when it originally came out.

So we were all big fans of Ronin, so around 2001, we rented it and watching it again. We loved Stellan Skaarsgard in it, and said, hey, let’s find another movie with him, apparently he’s been acting in European movies for years. So we found 1997’s Norwegian film Insomnia, where he plays a really creepy police officer.

Cue a year later, we’re big fans of the movie Momento, and we see that there’s another movie coming out from the same director staring Al Pacino. We were so excited, and we tried to avoid all trailers so we would go in spoiler free.

So we’re sitting there, watching this movie, and about 5 minutes into it we were looking at each other instead of the movie.

We’re seen this movie. We’ve already seen it! Less than a year ago! It was a weird sensation, sitting through a movie like this, where you know what’s going to happen already. And you’re kind of dreading it. Is Al Pacino really going to stand in a closet and watch two young people having sex like a creep? Phew! It didn’t happen! Yay for Christopher Nolan and for Al Pacino for taking that scene out! :)

I don’t know, I feel like I could have liked this movie if we hadn’t just watched the movie it was a remake of. So I always felt like I should give it another chance once enough time had passed by.