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Peace through
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IMDB classifies this as neo-noir. I suppose it can be considered so, but it just doesn't feel that way to me. It's not a dig at all, but the fact that the main character has Tourette syndrome knocks the film off that very serious tone of noir and neo-noir. Polanski's Chinatown- now that is neo-noir. Kasden's Body Heat- neo-noir. The Coen's Blood Simple, and Peter Yates' The Friends of Eddie Coyle- neo-noir.

Having said that, and taking the film at face value of being a straight mystery story, I really enjoyed Motherless Brooklyn. As a matter of fact, I've watched it twice. The plot is complex enough so that you get things with multiple viewings that you miss the first time around. My kind of film.

There's only one problem with this film and I think I understand why it is so. Without giving anything away, Edward Norton (who wrote the screenplay based on someone else's novel, directed and stars in the film)- well, his character has Tourette's. The film is set in 1957 and here's this character who has outbursts, feels the need at times to touch people repeatedly, et cetera- all the things which make Tourette's a horrible disease. No one gives the character a hard time about it. In 1957- especially in a city like New York, which prides itself on its rudeness- people encountering someone with Tourette's would not be kind, would not in the main be understanding, would not ignore it. A person with this syndrome in 1957 New York City would have a hard time in life. Simple as that. And yet, everybody's cool with it in the film. No one says "What's wrong with you, creep?" No one says "Get away from my children." Nothing like that. I watched the film and while I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and Edward Noron's performance, it just did not compute. Kinda ruined it, y'know?

Until, that is, I found out the film is based upon a novel written in 1999, and the novel is set in the present. It was Norton's idea to set the film in 1957. This accounts for the incongruity of character behavior in the film. People in 1999 would have been far more aware and far more understanding of Tourette's.

So, having reconciled this, I recommend Motherless Brooklyn as being well worth your time.
 
Posts: 91470 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I enjoyed the movie as well. I agree that Norton's excessive quirkiness detracted from an otherwise good film.
 
Posts: 4322 | Location: Where ever Uncle Sam Sends Me | Registered: March 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
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quote:
Originally posted by CD228:
I enjoyed the movie as well. I agree that Norton's excessive quirkiness detracted from an otherwise good film.


Just finished it. The character's tic was more destruction than added value. Like the Rain Man but not with autism.









Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.


 
Posts: 11848 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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It's integral to the story. I took a look at the novel upon which the film was based. On the very first page- and throughout the book- Tourette's is front and center. For Edward Norton to make a film out of this novel, there was no way around it. It would be like leaving the Civil War out of the movie version of Gone With the Wind.

BTW, great music in the film. Wynton Marsalis on the trumpet.
 
Posts: 91470 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember seeing the trailer for this & being intrigued by it.

Will have to see if it's available on any of the streaming services we have.




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Posts: 8241 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for posting. Wife and I watched this for the first time a few months back and really enjoyed it. I have always liked Ed Norton's acting. Great supporting cast as well.


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Posts: 2369 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: February 26, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
If it chambers, fire it
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Really enjoyed this film and Norton's character.
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Posts: 5296 | Location: Hampton Bays, NY | Registered: October 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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