NYTimes Magazine online edition has been the subject of lavish praise from this reviewer of late[see the fulsome accolades for NYTimes Magazine story on a Philippines outpost against the Chinese land grab here]. But the Magazine can be too indulgent as appears to be the case in its extravagant Making a Scene production – 11 video takes by 2013’s best actors.
And the choice of both actors and and screenwriters is indeed formidable. Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac, Robert Redford, and Oprah Winfrey among the magnificent 11. And the writers included some personal favorites including J.C. Chandor, Spike Jonze, and Sarah Polley. So this viewer was expecting some high drama and passion but also subtlety, a touch of humor, a glimpse of human warmth and worth – a moment in time very well worth watching. Voices and lines to savor.
Well … not exactly. Janusz Kaminski overproduces. These are more like Making a Scene in the juvenile sense. Time after time over-production with Sturm, and Drang musical accompaniment. Too much Depth Warmed Over symbolism. The one, witty notable exception – Oscar Isaac “I hope this is a joke.” No, it is a Polish cinematic joke.