Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tim Roth Made Me Cry

God Dammit, Tim Roth! The Legend of 1900 was hokey and a massive walking (or in this case, floating) cliche and, and...and you were just so damn charming and adorable and wonderful and you made me cry, you fucking bastard!

Sorry, me and Tim Roth were having a moment, allow me to explain:

This movie popped up on my Netflix "you like these sort of films so maybe give this one a go" feature and I've nurtured a love for Tim Roth ever since Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, so I figured I'd check it out. I will say this, I didn't want to like it, right from the start. The story follows a baby found on this big ol' passenger ship at the turn of the century (1900 for those whose heads are made of feta cheese) by a rough but kindly stock-black man-character. And yes, he decides to raise the baby, and yes, he names him 1900 because he found on the first month of the new century. And also he teaches him to read in a rough but kindly stock-black man-character manner. >.<

So then he (of course) dies horribly and little 1900 decides to abandon his life of secrecy and goes to the ballroom of the ship and starts playing the piano, and it turns out, by dint of some sort of gypsy voodoo, he's a piano virtuoso. This is where the movie gets kind of wha? We never find out why he was left on the ship or where he really comes from or why he can play the piano like some kind of musical god. On one hand, I like that it doesn't try to over-explain everything. On the other hand, it feels like laziness.

So 1900 becomes a famed nautical pianist (that's the thing, he never gets off the boat, not once in his life from kid to adult has he ventured onto dry land) and we see his story through the eyes of Pruitt Taylor Vince's character, a Jazz trumpeter named Max. The frame of the story is Max trying to get aboard the ship before it's junked and blasted to bits because he's certain 1900 is still hiding on it somewhere. Basically, it's the kind of movie where you smile at stuff in it even though you know it's stupid or ridiculous. The superb acting of Roth and Vince make it work, and the achingly beautiful score by Ennio Morricone sure doesn't hurt either. It's like the equivalent of someone giving you a magic puppy: you know the idea of a magic puppy is bullshit, but you take it anyway because hey, puppies are great.

And then the ending happens. At this point, the movie takes away your magical puppy and shoots it in front of you. The film is very predictable and sort of paint-by-the-numbers up until the end where it forgoes what I figured to be the obvious sort of ending for it and instead opts to club you in the stomach with a mallet until you cry like a pussy bitch.

Or maybe that's just me. Maybe you think I'm a wuss and idiot, maybe you agree with me, or maybe you've never seen this movie, in which case, go rent it. For all it's flaws it is still doubtlessly worth a watch, and I give it three and a half catapults out of five for wonderful music, wonderful acting and...sniffle...Anybody got a tissue?

1900: "Land? Land is a ship too big for me, it's a woman too beautiful, it's a voyage too long, perfume too strong..."


  1. "At this point, the movie takes away your magical puppy and shoots it in front of you."

    I just want you to know, that I laughed like a deranged hyena for 5 FUCKING MINUTES at above part, and even though I knew it was wrong and ridiculously-inappropriate, I just couldn't stop. Literally, I tried (becuz at this point my poor Japanese roommate was staring at me like I don't even know what) and the more I thought about how inappropriate my laughter was, the harder I laughed. For 5 min. No joke.

    Also, you're cool and I kinda miss you.

    But mostly, totes awk laughter.

  2. The end destroyed my childhood. Nonetheless, it was a mix of this, R&GAD, and Reservoir Dogs that began my love of all things Roth.

    Ennio Morricone scores are always awesome. See Inglorious Basterds.

  3. Update: still laughing

  4. Haha! Magical puppy! That's perfect. I love this movie both because it is indeed a magical puppy and because it isn't afraid to shoot the puppy.

  5. Brent: Dang, how'd you find this one lol. Glad you liked.


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