My Blueberry Nights

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/02/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Wong Kar Wai's English language debut is gorgeously shot, but it's let down by a tedious script, paper-thin characters and some dodgy performances.

What's it all about?
My Blueberry Nights is the English language debut of director Wong Kar Wai (Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love), who also co-wrote the script. Singer Norah Jones plays Elizabeth, a young New Yorker who discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her and pours her heart out to cafe owner Jeremy (Jude Law, doing a vaguely northern accent) over a few slices of blueberry pie.

It's never entirely clear why but shortly afterwards, Elizabeth takes off on a cross-country odyssey, sending the occasional postcard back to Jeremy but never leaving a return address. Along the way, she meets a variety of people including an alcoholic cop (David Stathairn), his sultry ex-wife (Rachel Weisz) and a compulsive gambler (Natalie Portman). But will she come back to Jeremy for a happy ending?

The Good
The photography is breath-takingly beautiful throughout, courtesy of cinematographer Darius Khondji (Se7en), who is clearly some sort of genius. It's just a shame that the script and performances can't match up to the stunning visuals.

Norah Jones is fine in her acting debut, but she's given very little to do other than mope around a lot. There's also decent support from an under-used David Strathairn and Natalie Portman manages to liven things up a bit, even if you never quite buy her as a hardcore poker player.

The Bad
However, Rachel Weisz and Jude Law's performances only serve to pull you out of the film, because you keep asking yourself why they bothered attempting their atrocious accents. In addition, for all that the tedious voiceover drones on about love, there's very little in the way of actual romance here, thanks to paper-thin characterisation and some tedious, largely uneventful plotting.

Worth seeing?
Ultimately, the gorgeous visuals in My Blueberry Nights aren't enough to compensate for the emotionally unengaging, frequently dull script and Wong fans are bound to be disappointed.

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My Blueberry Nights
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Content updated: 16/07/2019 19:04

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