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Friday, January 26, 2007

GREENLIGHT #109: Pan's Labyrinth (with "Cocoon" and "Juliet of the Spirits")

Ann and Les were simply mesmerized by Pan's Labyrinth (2006.) It's a sad tale of a 12-year-old girl named Ophelia, played by Ivana Baquero, who lives with her distracted mother and her Franco-like husband in 1944 Spain. Ophelia is witness to much of the horror of that time and deals with it by escaping into her own imaginary world. It's both a terrifying and marvelous imagination. The film, Ann and Les believe, is truly a masterpiece of director Guillermo del Toro. For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends a tamer but no less charming fantasy film called Cocoon (1985.) It's director Ron Howard's second film and it features some of the greatest character actors of all time including: Hume Cronyn, Wilford Brimley, Don Ameche, Jack Gilford, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, and Maureen Stapleton. They all play senior citizens who have found the fountain-of-youth but, of course, also discover it comes with a price. A great story. Ann recommends a much more bizarre fantasy film but still on the charming side. It's director Frederico Fellini's light-hearted exploration of a woman's heart as she deals with the suspected adultery of her husband. Interestingly, the lead woman is played by Fellini's real-life wife Giulietta Masina and the film is called Juliet of the Spirits (1965.)

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