Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Declaration of War AKA My First Post-Sundance Movie was a Sundance Movie

You can't run a marathon without a little cool-down period, right?

I noticed that one movie that played Sundance this year, called Declaration of War, was opening in theaters in NYC immediately following the festival, so I made a point of not seeing it during this year's festival.

Instead I went and saw it the day I flew home from Sundance. This helped me slowly ease myself off of seeing nonstop festival films.

This was France's submission for the Oscars this year, and I think it even made the short list (but was not nominated). It's about a new, young family coping with the unthinkable: a child's serious illness.

The director made some really interesting choices - for example, huge life events are glossed over by montage but another element that might seem inconsequential are given 10+ minutes of screen time. Also there are some interesting quirks (musical and otherwise) that add a strange layer to what would normally be quite a serious drama. Those devices (except for one) worked fine, from my perspective.

What really added to my enjoyment of this movie was learning that not only was this a true story, but that it was written and directed by, and starring those who actually lived it. That fact alone makes it way worth anyone's time.

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