I had no preconceived ideas about Crossing Delancey before I saw it. I’d maybe heard the title here and there, but that’s about it. And I’d never really seen Amy Irving in a movie before (hearing her voice a cartoon character doesn’t really count). I found her to be an adequate leading lady, but I think this material really allowed her to shine as an actress, but more on that later.
Ms. Irving plays Isabelle, an (aspiring) intellectual who works in a fancy New York bookstore and swoons over pedantic author Anton (Jeroen Krabbe, who still gives me the willies because of The Fugitive), a man who is everything her traditional Jewish upbringing is not. Her grandma is concerned for Isabelle’s love life (as well she should be) and hires a marriage broker to find a nice man for Isabelle. Enter Sam (Peter Riegert, a surprisingly attractive romantic lead…I’m used to him as the mean detective in The Mask or the snarky butler in Oscar), a nearby businessman (pickles, to be specific) whose had a crush on Isabelle from a distance for years. Isabelle thinks she’s too good for a pickle peddlar and snubs him, but for some reason can’t get him out of her mind…I’m sure you can guess the rest. Isabelle is a pretty unlikable character and I think any actress would have had a hard time convincing me that this woman was worthy of sweet Sam. Amy does her best, though. (Did you notice that we did a movie starring the infamous ex-Mrs. Spielberg just after watching Steven’s Indiana Jones movies? Total coincidence…)
This is Color Club’s On the Wild Side, a deep gray frosty mess. All I can say is ugh. This picture is two coats and a topcoat and you can keep it, Color Club! ~K
I was a little nervous the first time I saw My Neighbor Totoro. It seems like you never know what you’re going to get with a Hiyao Miyazaki movie (I’m still not sure what the heck Spirited Away was about). And although there are still plenty of bizarre Miyazaki touches here (like the Cat Bus…yes, you read that right), this turned out to be a sweet fable about two sisters who move into a house next to a magical forest (and their new neighbor is a large, bunny creature that helps plants grow).
I see a lot of myself in this movie (I won’t tell you which of the sisters I relate to, although E would say I’m just like the crazy four-year old, Mei) and I know that Miyazaki put a lot of himself in there. (I once read that he based this movie on some of his own experiences as a child, but made the two main characters girls to keep it from becoming too personal.) But if you’ve ever had a sister (or any siblings at all), you might get a little misty-eyed during My Neighbor Totoro.
This was originally released in Japan in 1988, but we watched the 2005 English dub with Dakota and Elle Fanning as sisters Satsuki and Mei, respectively. I think this was an inspired bit of casting, because the real life relationship shines through and both of these girls are pretty talented. The animation is beautiful (as always with Miyazaki) and the detail is just mind-boggling for a traditionally drawn film.
To go along with the forest theme, I put on Kleancolor’s Forest Fairy–a pale, shimmery green that is beautiful to look at, but a real pain in the rear to apply. This picture is four coats (!) and it’s still pretty sheer. Also, drying time was a big issue, even with a quick drying topcoat. If you’re going to wear this one, put aside half of the day for drying (I kid you not).~K