That Beautiful Somewhere

In English (2006)

Harold: "To be healed, you have to die and be reborn."

I had read a number of reviews of this movie, and not single one was good, so I wasn't expecting a lot. But actually, I thought this movie just missed being really good. It was interesting and deeply romantic, in a suicidal and depressing sort of way.

Conk (Roy Dupuis) is a police detective and veteran haunted by his experiences in Bosnia and unable to pull the plug on his terminally ill mother. Catherine (Jane MacGregor) is an archaeologist with a rare form of migraine that has left her in constant agony and longing for a way out. The two of them are drowning in anguish, and in desperate need of healing. They connect when they investigate the long ago death of an Indian named Red Wind, whose remains are found in a sacred healing bog. As they investigate Red Wind's death together and grow closer, they slowly discover that what happened to Red Wind is the key to healing them both.

The scenery in this movie is amazing. It is cold, bleak and dramatic, much like the story. Also gorgeous. The sacred bog itself is visually stunning. There is a lot of symbolism, but the plot is also completely coherent and not too arty. Both Dupuis and MacGregor did a good job, too, although I didn't think they had a lot of romantic chemistry. I was also thinking that her constant vomiting might make love scenes a little difficult, although by the time we got to one (a brief one), she hadn't thrown up in awhile.

That Beautiful Somewhere could have been very special, but it didn't quite hit the mark. It's hard to talk about why without giving away the ending, but I thought that there just wasn't sufficient motivation for the characters to make the denouement work for me. It should have gotten to me, and it didn't. And that's just too bad.

Bits and pieces:

-- The story opened with Conk putting a gun to his own head, followed shortly afterward by Catherine putting a power drill to her own. I thought that was an interesting way to introduce them. It pretty much said it all.

-- Conk kept hurting Catherine. The injection right on her bruise, the cigarettes. (Roy smoked a lot in this movie.) The name "Conk" actually had meaning, too, in the "conk someone on the head" sense.

-- There was a twelve minute interview with Roy Dupuis on the DVD, and wonder of wonders, it's in English. He talks a lot about aboriginal culture and Fondations Rivieres. And he is, of course, wearing a plaid shirt.

I was sort of intrigued, entertained and disappointed at the same time. Two out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

2 comments:

banastal said...

***Spoiler alert***

Yeah... I thought this movie was a little odd. My husband did not find his sacrifice believable.
I thought it was more like the guy was not exactly clinging to his life anyway and he felt like he could not save his mother as much as he loved her. This girl presented him with an opportunity to make his life worthwhile while not worth living. He did that for her - but altimately he did it for himself - it gave him a sence that he did something good.
As far as chemistry - that was not too believable - but I am not sure there was supposed to be too much chemistry - like you said - vomiting - is not condusive. To me it might as well have been a child in need of help. I would have prefered that to be something like that... The love element was a little out of element here...
Overall I found the movie a little disturbing. It leaves you with these holes - you can't reconsile the story - I think because it was not told ideally... I agree with Billie

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie!

I saw the movie a few days ago, it was interesting and worth watching again just to see if I missed something critical and for my Roy Dupuis fix.

I agree with your and Banastal's critique of the movie. It could have been much better with minor additions. I'd give it 2 out of 4 stars as well.

I enjoyed the movie pace & scenery which were very tranquil, the ending was rather unexpected...it was a wow moment, what just happened?

I like that this was not a typical movie and I would watch it again & again for Roy Dupuis alone.

Jan