Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Sad Lagoon

Author: Juan Ascencio
Location: Mexico

"The Sad Lagoon"

Directed by Anthony Minghella
Written by David Hare & Anthony Minghella
Music by John Williams

Principal Cast:

Mischa Barton, Emily Hogarth
Simon Woods, Edward Cromwell
Ryan Gosling, Joshua Terry
Charlotte Rampling, Glenda Cromwell
Emma Thompson, Ingrid Hogarth
Keira Knightley, Monica Rydell

Tagline: "Love exists even in the saddest places"

Synopsis: Emily Hogarth is an intelligent young woman who dreams about being a pianist, she lives with her mother, a greedy widow called Ingrid. Because of her hard work and extraordinary grades, Emily gets in one of the most prestigious universities in United Kingdom, her mother is happy about it because she wants Emily to get married with a wealthy man. One day, during a piano performance, Emily meets the legendary diplomatic Glenda Cromwell and become close friends thanks to their similar personalities and intellectual interests. Then when summer starts, Glenda invites Emily to spend it with her at her camp residence; being there Emily meets Glenda’s son, Edward, a young man ill of cancer, whose life seems to be empty and full of sadness. Emily becomes Edward’s best friend, and she helps him to improve his health situation by encouraging him to receive medical attention. They have a secret place where they can talk and have a good time, a beautiful lagoon in the surrounding wood.

Everything seems to be all right until Edward’s American cousin, Joshua, arrives to the camp residence and falls in love with Emily. Both, Emily and Joshua feel there is love burning between them, so Joshua breaks up with his superficial girlfriend, an elitist model called Monica. The main problem is that Edward is also in love with Emily, she’s become his reason of existence and he can’t resist the love disappointment. Emily, would have to make a though decision when Edward is getting better and ask her to be his wife, because that will bring him the happiness he hasn’t never had before; she is involved in a critical storm of feelings because in one side her mother tells her to accept Ed’s proposition in order to assure their economic condition, and in the other side Glenda confess her illusion about seeing her son happy, if she decides marrying Edward she will have to say goodbye to her true love, Joshua and witness how he loses the hope of living.

What the press would say:

Anthony Minghella takes the world by surprise directing this sentimental movie, a very different work to what he has done. But surprises are never bad, his direction is supreme as usual, we can see all his magic in screen, working with a very particular cast. Mischa Barton, in the leading role, shows everyone her potential as an actress, leaving behind her teen star image to perform as an intelligent sensitive girl, she has the power of capturing us by the emotions she let us feel with her perfect performance. It is also interesting the big performance of a newcomer actor, Simon Woods in the leading role, is easy to believe his condition of loneliness and sadness, he is just the perfect boy for this role, any other actor would have played as well as he did, his character is full with touching moments that make the movie richer, his connection with Mischa is always pure and true, and the way he interacts with the rest of the characters is very professional considering his poor experience.

We also see a more mature Ryan Gosling playing an intelligent role, he makes use of all his talent to give the story the final touch, you can not imagine anyone else in his place, his joy at the beginning of the movie is like a rise of the sun, and his love suffering in rhe ending part breaks spectators hearths in a unexpected way. The three supporting performances are just sublime, Charlotte and Emma guide the young actors, and Keira is spectacular in her role, the cast selection was perfect.

Anthony Minghella changed the super productions for a modest love story, and it is because of the big team that we can witness a majestic piece of art. The score, cinematography and the elegant art design are appropriate as the other elements. Without doubt, this film will be remembered as an act of bravery from Minghella, and the film that took off Mischa’s, Simon’s and Ryan’s careers, it will be favored by the members of the Academy, who always support movies with a message of hope and the power of love.

Awards for consideration:

Best Picture (The greatest love story of the year is never snubbed)
Actress in a leading role: Mischa Barton (just like Keira in 2006)
Actor in a leading role: Simon Woods, Ryan Gosling (It would be difficult for Simon, but Ryan has more possibilities)
Actress in a supporting role: Charlotte Rampling, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley (All of them are strong contenders)
Best director (Minghella would be favored because of his excellent work)
Best Original Screenplay (The screenplay is intelligent and sentimental, a strong combination)
Best music score (John Williams is the king of music score)
Cinematography (The precious landscapes in United Kingdom will make the movie attractive to the Academy)
Art design (even the story does not develops in the past, the art design is extraordinary)

No comments: