Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sometimes the credits set the mood perfectly

Here's the rendition of "Solitary Man" that opens the Michael Douglas movie of the same name. In the movie, we see Douglas navigating a New York City street alone, and Johnny Cash's aching vocals prepares us for everything we are about to learn about this man.

I mention this in case you are tempted to avoid Solitary Man for fear of hearing Neil Diamond drone in your head over and over. You won't, I promise.

If you haven't heard of this movie, I'm not surprised. It's not in wide distribution and doesn't seem to have any major studio backing. Yet I found it very moving.

Michael Douglas plays Ben, a once successful businessman just a little shy of his 60th birthday. He still compulsively hits on every young woman who crosses his path. Sometimes he gets lucky, sometimes they find him pathetic. He's in a foot race with aging and death. It scares him so shitless he can't stop himself, can't even accept the real love offered him by family and friends.

Susan Sarandon plays his ex-wife, and while her part is small, their scenes together are treasures. She's the only woman in the film who is Ben's contemporary. Yet she looks warm and serene and alive, compared to his graying and wrinkled desperation. It's not plastic surgery or witchcraft, it's acceptance of -- and enjoyment of -- life as it is.

As the movie continues to get well-deserved Oscar buzz, I hope it becomes more available.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a really good movie, sometimes the best movies are the ones that really don't get much attention.

    By the way, thank you so much for the kind words and suggestions on my last blog post.