Thursday, April 23, 2009

Viewing Journal: 4/23/2009

MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO
(1991 dir. Gus Van Sant) 3rd Viewing: April 23 2009
Rating:*****
5 out of 5 stars


Remains, to my eyes, one of the more ambiguous treatments of alienation and disaffected youth on film. The inventive narrative slips between a modernized Henry IV and a poignant story of homeless gay street hustlers as frequently as its narcoleptic protagonist slips in and out of consciousness. I've always wondered if the Shakespeare segments in this influenced Baz Luhrmann on some level to do his ultra hip 1996 update of ROMEO AND JULIET. River Phoenix really brought a human warmth to his emotionally wounded character here that I think very few actors could have. It's the best male performances of 1991 in my opinion. Remains my favourite instalment of Van Sant's Portland Oregon trilogy that began with MALA NOCHE (1986) and DRUGSTORE COWBOY (1989), and still his greatest and most personal film.

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