Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Wish ‘Gwen Conliffe’ Could Exist

“I can help you.”

“There’s no help for me.”

“If such things exist, if they are possible, then everything is. Magic. And God. I can find a way to stop it.”

“I must get back to Talbot Hall and end this.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

That’s a wonderful scene from Joe Johnston’s 2010 werewolf movie, “The Wolfman.”

That’s Emily Blunt as ‘Gwen Conliffe,’ the beautiful and intelligent Victorian woman who believes in cause and effect and believes she can help Lawrence Talbot. That’s Benicio Del Toro as ‘Lawrence Talbot,’ doing a terrific job as a classic kind of werewolf, the thoughtful, troubled, terrified-of-what-he’s-become kind of werewolf.

I really liked this movie. It received terrible reviews. The reviews were so bad that I didn’t go see the film at the theaters but waited and watched it on DVD.

I wish I’d gone to a theater.

But it had gotten awful word-of-mouth. I did a post from the head make-up artist who complained about the CGI people:

Grousing And Werewolf Grousing

And then just before the film opened I pretended to write a note on my palm about going to see it:

The Writing On My Hand

But the reviews were so passionately negative that I decided to save my money.

I wish I’d gone to a theater. I wish I’d ignored the reviews.

It’s not a great film. There are some pretty big plot holes. Why did Gwen summon Lawrence home? Why didn’t the Gypsies have silver bullets? The townsfolk did have silver bullets, why didn’t they work? Why did Gwen hurry to Talbot Hall only to run away?

A lot of key points about the plot don’t make any sense.

But a lot of cool stuff does make sense. And the filmmakers did a great job recreating the Nineteenth Century, both in visuals and in the characters of the people. The film does a wonderful job showing civilization confronting the wild, of science confronting magic, of love and hate in the hearts of men and women.

It’s a really good movie.

It’s not a teen movie. There is nothing romantic about this werewolf. It’s an adult movie and a reasonably well-made adult movie. I’d have been proud to have made it. (I would have fixed-up the plot holes, but, nonetheless, I’d have been proud of it.)

It’s not a great movie. But it’s a really good movie.


I did a playful post about Lawrence Talbot myself a couple of years back:

Thoughtful, Troubled, Terrified Of Myself

And I did a serious werewolf story years ago, too:

Sally Gorgon And The Shattered Werewolf, Part 1

Sally Gorgon And The Shattered Werewolf, Part 2

Sally Gorgon And The Shattered Werewolf, Part 3

Sally Gorgon And The Shattered Werewolf, Part 4

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