Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Morlang (2001)*****
Dir: Tjebbo Penning

Posted by Guest Blogger Shu Zin

Morlang is my favorite kind of movie. It has been made strictly for thinking, feeling adults, without even a wink at Hollywood or the twenty-something set, who would most likely never see the sense of this sort of movie, nor thrill at its realism.  There is mystery, and there are thought-provoking, intense human situations and plenty of bite and humor in this intelligent, beautifully-paced movie.

The writing is first rate; the story is about a successful artist, Julius Morlang (Paul Freeman), who catches his wife with another man in the most extraordinary way. Director Tjebbo Penning lets us in on what he’s up to with a marvelously tongue-in-cheek scene at the very beginning, when Julius Morlang is seen responding to his applauding public with a smug, almost simpering smile and a prissy little kiss for his wife. The direction is subtle and appreciative of irony, as the artist reveals himself in a most affecting and credible way. His career has begun to wane with the fickle art market in Amsterdam, and his agent and old friend, Wim, nags and subtly insults Morlang incessantly, urging him to spice up his work to accommodate the current taste of buyers.

 Morlang is exquisitely shot, brilliantly directed, cast and acted, and the story is compelling, full of the surprises of life and some of its highs and lows and a hilarious scene as Morlang goes through Dublin Airport Customs. This film is sensitively done, with an ending that totally knocked my socks off. A real treasure, shot in Amsterdam and Ireland. Highly recommended to grown-ups.

Posted by Guest Blogger Shu Zin