I saw the The Truth About Charlie on the weekend. It's been getting practically universally bad reviews but I went to see it anyway since it looked really good stylistically (and I love Paris). It turns out the critics were right, but while the film was a definite failure I found it an enjoyable failure. If all bad films were bad like this film then the world wouldn't be such a bad place. I especially liked the bizarre Something About Mary-esque cameos with Charles Aznavour (no, really). Best of all though was the uncharacteristically buff Tim Robbins playing a macho, if slightly unhinged, government operative. He made me wonder aloud why Thandie Newton was wasting her time with Mark Wahlberg.
After Marky-Mark's curiously charisma-free performance in Charlie it was refreshing to watch the Merchant-Ivory flick Remains of the Day last night on TV. It takes a really good film to make you realise how painfully average most actors and scripts are today. It's hard enough to deliver lines and make it sound like it natural conversation but when an actor can master unique mannerisms and unspoken glances as well, then you're talking good acting. It's the same feeling I get when hearing a poem read well or watching a really good adaptation of Shakespeare (Titus, another Anthony Hopkins film, immediately comes to mind). If it's done right you don't notice the strict structure of the verse. Professionals make it look easy.
That being said, I had a strange pop culture overload while watching Remains of the Day. At one point in the film Stevens, the emotionally repressed butler played by Hopkins, has an uncomfortable conversation with a stranger helping him fill his car with petrol on the side of a deserted highway. It must've been all those Hannibal Lecter films but I half expected Hopkins to bash the guy over the head with the petrol can and eviscerate him right there on the side of the road. I don't think I'm spoiling too much by saying he didn't. He is a gentleman, after all.