Sunday, November 01, 2009

I am not a wholesale fan of Shakezpeare in Luv, despite its charms, and Paltrow Issues erode the experience further, but I am an enormous sucker for the last three minutes, including this shot.* Sometimes I'll watch the ending a bunch of times in a row. It is very Tidy, probably too much, but as it wraps things up it also opens new things, hints at the worlds past the ending. It doesn't rely on (just) the last clinch/tearful parting to do its dirty denoumental work.

Good endings can redeem/make a whole film. Birdy has a great last shot. Truly Madly Deeply has an amazing ending and an amazing last shot. Moonstruck's great ending has force because it ends in the morning, lit with morning kitchen light. Bull Durham has a great ending because it saves the happy sex for the end, rather than the middle. The ending of Brief Encounter--the real ending, when she goes back to her husband--is fabulous and full of power.

Being There
ruins its ending by tacking on bloopers. The last shot of The 400 Blows probably made me cry when I saw it for the first time in college, but now it seems cheesy thinking about it. The Fugitive's ending doesn't quite do it for me (the convention confrontation, I mean). The most fucked-up ending in the history of the world has to be Grease, a plot twist that I am still making my peace with, thirty years after seeing it for the first time.

Much more to say about all this, just a-thinkin. I sure love the ending of Shakespeare in Love, though. The swell of possibility out of all the sadness is really heart-rending.

* Part of the appeal is that I am a huge sucker for anything in movies involving pens and ink, although I wonder about its authenticity in this film. I do like the fact that the movie makes it clear how messy writing is when you're using pen and ink. All over your fingers.

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