Thursday, March 15, 2012

"My Own Love Song" with Renee Zellweger, Forest Whitaker and Nick Nolte (2011)

This is a very unusual film which explores the walls and boundaries, largely of our own creation, that divide us, and how we imprison ourselves within those walls. It's also about what it takes to break free of them.

When Jane, a wheelchair bound former country singer, played by Renee Zellweger, receives a letter from her son, whom she gave up as an infant, the only one who can help her in achieving her goal is Joey, played with brilliance by Forest Whitaker. He speaks to angels, and they speak to him. He has been in, and out, of mental hospitals, where he is drugged to the point at which he can no longer feel. He longs for the day when he can live alone again, just as Jane longs to see the son she gave up. With the obstacles facing this unlikely duo, it's a long shot at best that they will achieve their goals.

When Joey has a breakdown and destroys Jane's home, she is furious. When he sneaks back in the middle of the night to clean up the mess, she isn't any happier. But the incident serves as the catalyst for the two to undertake the seemingly impossible journeys, or achieve the seemingly impossible goals which they have set out upon. But through an unusual set of circumstances, and an equally number of unusual people whom they meet along the way, the two "cripples" wind up doing all they set out to do, and more. They learn that everybody, in their own unique way, is crippled, too. And that knowledge frees them from feeling that they are somehow different, or less capable than anyone else.

An outstanding performance by Nick Nolte, as a washed up guitar player, and a soundtrack featuring original music written and performed by Bob Dylan, help to make this is a somewhat "off beat" film. But that's only at first glance. Just scratch the surface and you will see a little bit of yourself somewhere in this film.

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