Monday, 28 September 2015

REVIEW - EVERY THING WILL BE FINE (WIM WENDERS)


Everything is not fine - sorry, but it was asking for that - in Wim Wenders' stilted soap opera, which aims for some vague, unformed sense of literariness and little else, apparently failing to grasp that the prestigious written word it attempts to emulate only acquires such prestige through a sharpness and an eloquence, both of which almost wholly evade this dreary drama. Every Thing Will Be Fine is a curio, a film whose achievements are considerable yet inconsequential, and whose failings sit in stark opposition, themselves banal yet of disastrous effect. Technically, there's much to admire in Benoit Debie's luminescent 3D cinematography and Alexandre Desplat's luscious, Grieg-inspired score (the screenplay is by Norwegian Bjorn Olaf Johannessen, and the Canadian setting could have easily replaced his homeland at some point during production); these elements are attractive, though not without fault - objectively, neither contributes anything particularly profound or even relevant to this tale of modern morality in the artistic male. Yes, that's roughly what Every Thing Will Be Fine is actually about, and the level of philosophical inquiry and broader cultural awareness that such a summation may suggest (a decidedly low level) is quite present. It's the sort of film you'd imagine James Franco directing on a whim over a two-week period - fitting, then, that he's this film's lead, as aloof and half-asleep as ever, and neatly matched as such by the film. Alongside Desplat's score, standouts include a chilling moment of tragedy early on and a sensitive performance from Charlotte Gainsbourg (when is she ever not?); on the flipside, there's barely one line of dialogue or plot point that strikes as sincere, and the film concludes in a sequence of thoroughly nauseating shots, whose sheer ugliness must be seen to be understood.