Monday, December 05, 2005

Ang Pagdadalaga ni Emily Rose

Watch Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Olivero. It’s rare to have a movie that earns its audience’s reactions and sympathies the old-fashioned way—with an excellent script, earnest acting and sensitive direction. It is not a perfect movie, and technically it can stand a lot of improvement (especially on sound and cinematography). But the way the audience was reacting to the film was gratifying. It showed that the regular Pinoy audience is not an unthinking herd of viewers.
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Another movie I saw last Sunday was The Exorcism of Emily Rose. First of all, unlike Linda Blair’s green-puking classic, The Exorcist, this new movie is more a courtroom drama than a horror movie. There’s more spinning of facts than spinning of heads here, more shouting their mouths off than spewing green bile. Now this movie is actually quite predictable, even right down to the verdict. But what elevates this from the usual movie-of-the-week is the excellent acting of the three leads. Laura Linney is a fantastic actress; she’s good-looking enough to be cast as lead but not too stunning enough to land her in the front pages of magazines and tabloids. Her acting is also never flashy, so it’s not surprising why she’s often overlooked and underappreciated. Tom Wilkinson playing the priest is as competent as always, while Campbell Scott gives a well-measured performance as the prosecutor of the case.

What was unnerving though was the detail about 3 a.m. being the witching hour. Apparently 3 a.m. is the antithesis of 3 p.m., the hour of Christ’s death. So it is believed that the devil—or other malevolent forces—often make their presence felt at that ungodly hour. Unfortunately I’m often still awake at 3 in the morning, so this morning I was unnerved when, looking up from the book I was reading (Umberto Eco’s “Name of the Rose” this time), I glanced at the clock and it was already 2:50 a.m. Ah-woooooooh! I resolutely went back to reading, and after a few minutes I glanced up and it was already 3:20 a.m. and still there was no smell of anything burning. Whew! I finished a chapter then went straight to sleep.


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