Punch-Drunk Love
4 June 2009
"Punch Drunk Love", in its own intimately tense manner, puts any of the famous scenes in "Magnolia" or "There Will Be Blood" to shame, and those two movies in their entirety as well. Far from any sort of lull in PTA's career, is a tight, compelling, fascinating film throughout, and the anamorphic cinematography by Robert Elswit is brilliant (with gorgeous, judicious use of lens flares- I like them to begin with but when you have a lens flare which expresses more emotion than almost anything else in the movie, THAT is something special), and Anderson's direction thoroughly assured, with a very interesting and controlled color palette. I hope to write a lengthy essay on this film at one point, there is certainly a lot of food for thought in both the visuals and the screenplay. It's just a formally fascinating film in every scene, and while I particularly loved the lighting of the film, the camera-work (including some extremely elaborate stuff which must have been very hard to pull off), and the sound design were incredible as well. Quite contrary to its reputation among some, this is a movie which is just phenomenal because it's so short and minimalistic and restrained in so many ways, which somehow isn't too much of a contrast with the rather bizarre story. Sandler's performance is terrific and he was given a great character, and the film is actually very emotionally compelling and mature (certainly far more so than something like "Magnolia"), and is made even more unique by (saving the best for last) Jon Brion's score.
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