Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review: The Accidental Tourist (1988)

I know I should go on with the Best Supporting Actor movies, but I think I can have a break, and this movie is so great that I decided to watch it again.
It about a travel-book writer (William Hurt), who has to deal with the death of his only child, a broken marriage and an annoying family. But with the help of a quirky Muriel (Geena Davis), he might be able to go on with his life.
I've always enjoyed the works of Lawrence Kasdan. I especially love his directings, for instance Body Heat and The Big Chill. This time he reunited with his Body Heat stars, William Hurt and Kathleen Turner.
The brilliant and humorous screenplay was based on Anne Tyler's novel, and the writing for this movie is truly unique: it creates weird and colorful characters (including a neurotic dog), the scenes and situations are wonderfully written, there are neither dull nor soappy moments, even though the material had the danger of these in itself.
The performances are all flawless: the best acting is given by William Hurt, who always gives charismatic performances, but this time he's beyond fantastic. His characterisation of an emotionally empty person, who holding onto a woman is simply perfect and should have earned him an Oscar nomination over the overrated Tom Hanks in Big.
Kathleen Turner is also exquisite in her role of Macon's wife, Sarah, who's much more willing to go on with her life. I really appreciated this performance, but every time I see Turner I think about her cameo role as Chandler's father on friends. And that makes me laugh so hard.
Geena Davis won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Her performance itself is not a typical Oscar-worthy one, but she gives a very heartwarming and funny performance and she has some great lines ("I've got a shotgun and I'm pointing it at your face"), which makes you fall of your seat. She's not only a comfort to Macon, but also to the audience, because she seems to be the only sane person around. So Oscar deserved, because she was the best of the nominees, but she's not one of the best winners. I think Davis's performance was a bit of a preview for Helen Hunt's in As Good as It Gets. Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks that these movies have strong resemblances.
I have to mention the wonderfully subtle acting of the Leary siblings: Rose (Amy Wright), Porter (David Odgen Stiers) and Charles (Ed Begley Jr.) are so funny with their minimal acting that it's simply unbelievable. They are really unforgettable.
One thing I forgot to mention: the very catchy score made by John Williams. It's so brilliant that it should have earned an award to Williams. Or is it just me who liked it?
Ok, so I really recommend The Accidental Tourist, if you want to have a delightful experience. Best Picture nod deserved.
My Grade: 8.5/10
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress (Geena Davis, WON); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Original Score
My wins: Supp Actress, Score and maybe even Screenplay

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