Beauty meets the Beast, and neither is sure just what to make of the other, in a modern-dress comic variation on the ancient folk tale, written and directed by the eternally offbeat Hal Hartley. Beatrice (Sarah Polley) works with the office staff of a sleazy tabloid TV news show, run by a harridan producer (Helen Mirren) eager for something other ...Read MoreBeauty meets the Beast, and neither is sure just what to make of the other, in a modern-dress comic variation on the ancient folk tale, written and directed by the eternally offbeat Hal Hartley. Beatrice (Sarah Polley) works with the office staff of a sleazy tabloid TV news show, run by a harridan producer (Helen Mirren) eager for something other than the usual spate of violent crimes and natural disasters that are her show's bread and butter. The producer sends her camera crew to Iceland in search of something new and unusual, and they certainly find it when they run across a village that has its own monster (Robert John Burke), a large part-mammal and part-lizard with a short temper and habit of killing people who get on his nerves. The show's camera crew (including Beatrice's boyfriend) doesn't survive their first encounter with the monster, and Beatrice is sent to find out what happened to them. En route to Iceland, Beatrice's plane crashes into the waters off the coast, and while she survives the accident, a group of unsympathetic locals decide (after a few drinks too many) to take her to the monster's lair, where a grim fate doubtless awaits her. Except that the monster is a bit depressed and Beatrice isn't in the mood to take any guff from anyone; after the monster wonders aloud why folks aren't as frightened of him as they once were, he asks Beatrice to help him find Dr. Artaud (Baltasar Kormakur), a mad scientist who might be able to cure him of the curse of eternal life. No Such Thing received its world premiere at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened as part of the Un Certain Regard series. Mark Deming, RoviRead Less
TITLE: No Such Thing
GENRE: Fantasy drama
CAST: Sarah Polley, Robert John Burke, Helen Mirren and Julie Christie
PLOT: A monster wants no part in existing in this world anymore but he cannot die. Enter the Miracle girl who survived a jumbo-jet crash into the middle of the ocean. She does her miracle stuff for him (or is it us she does it for?)
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9.5 of 10; This is one of two things: either a new take on the Beauty and the Beast story or an entirely new type of predicament described. Many go with option one but if you go with the latter, this is a tremendously interesting investigation into the very nature of existence. I go with that one. The dialogue is superb, You can see from the cast that there is a lot of talent to direct and well directed it is. The starkly barren scenes of Iceland serve to remind me that in all the physical universe there is such a thing as life and it is here on earth, just as the villagers existing is a miracle.
DVD BONUS: None (a shame. The movie was not well recievd and I think the creator, Hal Hartley, is punishing us by not explaining anything)
ADDED NOTES: Polley is the little girl who believed in Baron Munchausen (how appropriate a casting, she gets to believe again!) . Burke is Father Mikey from "Rescue Me" and did stints as Robocop.
There is much to muse over about this film. While I'm doing that, why don't you go watch "No Such Thing"?
Apr 2, 2009
a fresh new take on life
in today's world of videos, it is rare to find this keen philosophical take on society.. this movie has a lot of subtle remarks that make it very entertaining to the intelligent movie watcher... in a film world of crashes and explotions, it is nice to see something that is new and fresh and takes us back to movies that make you think...