Last time I talked about this film that I like and no one else seems to.
Today I want to talk about Meet Joe Black the 1998 remake of the 1934 film, Death takes a holiday.
After a series of spooky interactions with Anthony Hopkins media tycoon William Parrish Death strikes a deal. If William shows him the wonders of the world and human compassion as he knows it, then he will grant ‘Bill’ a few more days to live. Bill accepts somewhat reluctant to interact with Death, especially when he comes in the guise of Brad Pitt, but when he realises the end is near, he spends more time observing his friends and small family and telling them just how much he loves them.
LET ME BULLET POINT MY LOVE*:
- Anthony Hopkins.
Ok, I’m not a Hopkins fan. Not truly. I’ve seen Silence of the Lambs and I think it’s always been a case of being expected to love that film. I don’t. I like him, don’t get me wrong but it was his performance in this film, as firm but fair billionaire that really set the course for me appreciating Hopkins in everything he did before and has done since. A fierce business man, but when it comes the scenes with his daughters, he is reduced to being a Yes man, and I find his delivery of this character trait endearing. Never showing too much emotion it becomes abundantly clear through his straight talking delivery and poignant observations as the camera lingers on him that Parrish is a man with good intuition. When he meets Joe he doesn’t take kindly to him falling for his baby girl. Understandable, Brad Pitt’s Joe is death in a suit after all.
- Anthony Hopkins and Clare Forlani: This has got to be one of the best and genuine depictions of a father and daughter relationship on-screen. Lucky are those of us who have seen the love in our father’s eye like Susan does from William Parrish. That penultimate scene where he dances with her one last time before he leaves his party for good, is one of the most beautiful and heart-warming Father/Daughter moments (after father of the bride and 3 men and a little baby) captured on film.
- Clare Forlani and Brad Pitt –
- This. Everything about this is awkward to watch but they’re both so beautiful that it’s hard not to. I have to say it is perhaps one of the less offensive scenes of a sexual nature that I have seen.
- Because the sneaky love rival and ambitious Drew will stop at nothing to get rid of Joe, see that William is overturned in his position as CEO and take from Susan’s love rather than earn it. Oh I love a villain and Jake Weber does not disappoint.
- Because regardless of the Spanish dub – Thomas Newman is a musical wizard. This is one of the best scenes because it has one of the best soundtracks ever.
- and finally because Jeffrey Tambor is single-handedly on of the most gifted actors to grace the film world. Here his turn as as the sweet hearted husband, Quince, of the over-zealous but loving elder daughter Allison (played by the equally brilliant Marcia Gay Harden) is beautiful.
*…also, isn’t this a great title for a ballad album? I surprise myself sometimes.
next up…Something’s Gotta Give