12.26.2006

what i'm watching: la grande seduction, neil young

We saw a good movie last night - very funny, and sweet without being saccharine: "Seducing Dr. Lewis", or in the original French, "La Grande S├ęduction".

It takes place in a poor seaside town in Quebec, an once-proud fishing village, where the sons of fishermen now queue up for welfare cheques. They are trying to attract a factory to their town, but in order to get the factory, they first have to get a doctor. They set about to lure a big fish to their little boat - to seduce a young Montreal doctor to fall in love with their town and set up a practice on their little island. You could say it's "Northern Exposure" meets "Waking Ned Devine," but it's better than either of those.

Once again, the best Canadian movies we see are made in Quebec. I've gotten to really trust the French Canadian recommendations on Zip.ca.

We also saw "Neil Young: Heart of Gold," Jonathan Demme's film of a Neil Young concert. From the promo:
In the fall of 2005, Neil Young returned to the sound and style of his iconic 1972 album "Harvest" with "Prairie Wind", a set of ten songs which look to America's past and future accompanied by sweet but rough-hewn country-rock. The album was written and recorded after Young was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and shortly before he went into the hospital for surgery for the condition, Young played a pair of special concerts at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed the "Prairie Wind" album in full along with a set of old favorites.
I admire Neil Young no end, a committed artist who has always gone his own way, and put out the music that was in him, with no regard to commercial trends. What I like of his, I love. But man, when he is off the mark, is he ever boring and trite. For me, "Prairie Wind" is Neil Young at his worst: literal, prosaic lyrics set to standard Neil Young templates that sound like he wrote them in his sleep.

The music is boring, and the movie is boring. You'd have to really love this brand of music to like this film. We were glad it was a Zip rental and made frequent use of the fast-forward button.

10 comments:

Nigel Patel said...

I've always liked Neil Young but for me he's largely been replaced by J Mascis, of whom, lets face it, much fewer nice things can be said about.
If J screws up it won't get a page in Rolling Stone.

L-girl said...

I've long since stopped following what any of these people do. I only listen to the music now.

Scott M. said...

Have you watched Bon Cop, Bad Cop yet? Sure, it's a little formulaic, but it's a good romp and really quite funny.

L-girl said...

We're a long way from watching that one. But it's on the list. :)

Jere said...

Happy Boxing Day! I've always imagined all the Canadians going to the fights, and just watching bout after bout, with individual fights breaking out in the crowd. But, you know, friendly-like. Because, Hey, it's Boxing Day! Hooray! "Peace be with you." "And also with you. Wham!" Am I close on this one?

Also, nigel, still trying to figure out the J Mascis comment. Why did he specifically replace Neil Young in your collection? Do you have a salary cap or a quota or something?

L-girl said...

Happy Boxing Day to you, too! Not just Canadians, of course - the whole British Commonwealth. And no, you're not close.

Jere said...

Thanks. So you made me look it up. And I come out just as confused as before. The one concrete item about "BD" is

"Almost every retailer holds a Boxing Day Sale."

Run by a big eastern syndicate, I guess...

L-girl said...

Sorry, I didn't realize you were asking. I figured if you had been imagining it for that long, you had already looked it up. Plus I'm busy packing.

Boxing Day sales have expanded to Boxing Week sales.

No one actually says "Happy Boxing Day," by the way. It's just an extra day off that has a name.

James said...

Plus I'm busy packing.

So you're right into the spirit of Boxing Day/Week! :)

L-girl said...

Plus I'm busy packing.

So you're right into the spirit of Boxing Day/Week! :)


Heh, I just saw this now. Very true, we are up to our necks in boxes. Quite the Boxing Week. :-)