Saturday, December 27, 2014
The Judge: Review
The Judge: Paradigm Paradise: that's one way of approaching this film.And I love the paradigms here, most of all: the big city man gets pulled away from the city to some small town/rural location and his life changes in a number of ways. I love it, love it in Elizabethtown, loved it in A Good Year. I love those abrupt changes. SPOILERS AHEAD: I also love the cocky protagonist finding a soul, rediscovering an old lover, and finally taking pride in his hometown. SPOILER OVER
Hitting reset is such a great thing, especially in the movies. This is also a technically top-notch film, Thomas Newman provided the hauntingly beautiful music as he always does and Janusz Kaminski provided the photography that is visually the equal to Newman's score, there is so much weight in those shadows and comfort in those highlights and colors. This is a beautiful vacation of a film.
Of course, the protagonist considers his idyllic small town paradise of a hometown a burden even though it's populated with adoring attractive women. And his personal life is conveniently messy. Robert Downey Jr. rains his big, beautiful persona on the material and Robert Duvall supplies a necessary gravitas to this well-executed recipe. The courtroom climax gets a little too unprofessional and there is a major revelation but not a clever legal turn.
I wanted to love this movie and I loved parts, others I merely liked. Would I watch it again: yes, especially with my parents to see their reactions. This would also be great in a corn belt marathon or a marathon of going back home movies! Who knows, this year being like it is, it may yet be on my favorites.