Memoirs of Another Movie

Tonight, I watched Memoirs of a Geisha.

It was good.

It wasn't as good as I wanted or expected.  Again, some superb acting... no one was weak. And the cinematography (something very important to me in enjoying a film) was superlative. But... I didn't like the story. It was an American story, not a Japanese story. And for whatever reason, that bothered me. The plot was thin, the ending was dippy-sweet, the twists were predictable... it was unsatisfying on the level of the story.

That said, the filming had, I think, a pleasant Japanese aspect to it (kudos to Spielberg for that, I suppose): there was the right amount of Japanese spoken, there were no necessarily Occidentally-cast actors (think Gandhi as a counter-example) (UPDATE: I realized last night as I was thinking about this post that, in fact, most of the cast was Chinese.  So much for that assertion!), and there was an efficiency to the direction that suited the setting, though I think the pace would have been more appropriate if it were a little slower.

Of course I realize I have no authority to speak of such things, so please take these comments with a grain of salt: I am not Japanese, and my affinity for their aesthetics is filtered through our American perception of Japan.

All in all, it's a film I would recommend watching.  ...But it certainly doesn't make any "best" lists.  Not for me.  That said:

It was good.

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