Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Jules (2023)

You have to see this film.

Forgive me for starting off imploring you to see this film, but this film is such an unexpected joy you just have to see it.  I say that as a person who went into the film as an obligation, certain it was going to be something I could dismiss but I came out recommending it to anyone who I could tell.

The story of the film concerns a lonely older man played by Ben Kingsley. He goes through his day not getting along with his daughter, going to the occasional public meeting, talking to his friends (Jane Curtin and Harriet Sansom Harris) and not much else. One night a flying saucer crashes into his backyard. Efforts to tell the authorities goes nowhere. Finding the pilot in his yard, Kingsley tries to care for him. Over time Kingsley and his friends interact with the pilot, who never speaks and never changes facial expression, and they find that their lives, pilot included are changed. 

Yes, this sounds like a dozen other films, but no you have never his story before. Trust me this film is it's own thing. Just realize this is the first alien crashes story where no one is really fazed by the alien. A being from space comes to earth and it's no big deal. From there the film spins out in all sorts of ways that science fiction films, and most films, don't usually go such as what it's like to grow old and be alone. This film deals with people who are living lives that wouldn't make the cut for any other drama. These are people just spinning their wheels until they are not.

As an old guy myself I saw a lot of real emotional truth in this film that I've never run across in other films. Other films have kind of covered similar ground but I realized I was connecting intellectually, but this was the first time where I saw myself in a few years on the screen.

I was moved.

I love that this film surprised me on every level.

The cast is wonderful. I especially love Ben Kingsley. This is one of his most invested performances in years. While I think there are a couple of shots that undercut his performance(I think it's a poor choice of shots),  for the most part this is the best thing he's done in years. I completely believe that he gave his all in this performance.  According to the press notes he told director Marc Turtletaub not to worry since he had the role completely in hand, and I think he does. Equally good is Jane Curtin who I had to check the credits to figure out where she was in the film since she disappears into her role.

You have to see this.  Trust me, it really is that good. While I will say it may not be the best thing you see all year, I do think it will delight you and make you feel good.


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