Archives for posts with tag: Sandra Bullock

Richard Harris does so much static bloviating in “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” (1993), I checked to see if it was based on a play. Alas, Steve Conrad had adapted his own short story. It’s an opposites-attract film in which Harris’ drunken Irish ancient mariner finds a friend in an introverted, retired Cuban barber played by Robert Duvall (Sandra Bullock and Shirley MacLaine provide support). Yes, Duvall plays an old Cuban man while Harris basically plays himself and yet somehow Duvall is more believable. While Harris chews the scenery, Duvall’s mannered nibbling makes you wish the film had been more about him.

If Sandra Bullock weren’t so darn adorable, “Two if by Sea” (1996) would have been a total suckfest. This romantic/caper/comedy/somethingorother follows a template: Underprivileged Girl With Big Dreams is somehow romantically entangled with Loser Smalltime Crook. They spend half the movie bickering and she becomes attracted to Man Who is Fool’s Gold. Smalltime Crook does something noble, Fool’s Gold turns out to be a d-bag, you see every turn of the plot coming from a mile away, The End. There’s no Happily Ever After because you know Smalltime will do something stupid again five minutes after the movie is over.

It would be easy for a journalist to be jealous of a novelist. Journalists must adhere to the facts, while novelists can manipulate the facts to suit the narrative. (Don’t start with your opinions about the news media. That’s a conversation for another time.) But while journalists can report the facts and consider it truth, novelists must adhere to an abstract concept of artistic truth that is much, much harder to execute. So to speak. Which explains “Infamous” (2006), the story of “In Cold Blood” and the mentally tortuous route through the gallows that Truman Capote took in creating it.