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Life Arts

An Appreciation of The City of Your Final Destination

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 7/5/11

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The City of Your Final Destination stars two well-known actors, Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney, and both are simply outstanding. Hopkins' genius has been appreciated in America at least since he played the madman and mass murderer in The Silence of the Lambs twenty years ago, whereas the much younger Linney's icy-cold and aloof demeanor is still emerging.  

The movie also stars three actors I'd never seen before in outstanding roles: Omar Metwally, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Hiroyuki Sanada. There is also a new-to-me near star, Alexandra Maria Lara.

Pictured above on the movie's poster are Linney, Hopkins, and Gainsbourg, by Wikipedia.

The movie is at Netflix, with mostly complete English sub-titles.

Why I liked The City so much, in terms of the characters, is that the plot concerns extremely believable academics, played by Metwally and Lara; the legacy of a deceased one-shot but famous author (who is never on-screen), whose familial group, including his granddaughter (Norma Argentina?), play their roles faultlessly; and, the background actors, including the local Ecuadorian Head Female Queen (Norma Aleandro?), also play their roles to perfection.

In terms of execution, I liked the movie because it takes place mainly in Ecuador, that "little" South American country off which are found the Galapagos Islands.   And the movie's photography is extraordinarily fine throughout.           

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Pictured above is Ecuador, by Wikipedia.

Pictured above is Ecuadorian Ceviche, a shrimp dish, by Wikipedia.

I also liked the soundtrack in general and the short excerpts from two works particularly, the first - Tres Lent Et Calm by Poulenc - and the second, at the end of the movie in Madrid - the beginning of a Mozart symphony composed "when he was eleven or twelve."

Further in terms of execution, I loved the movie's pacing.   No scene is unnecessary or fails to advance the story appropriately.   Nevertheless, the movie starts slowly and builds almost as slowly.   But by the last thirty minutes, the scenes seem to fly by so fast that if you haven't got all the main characters' names and faces in place, well, you'll just have to watch it again.  

And finally overall and best of all, the movie has an extremely satisfying ending.

If your tastes in movies precede Jason Statham and TV violence by decades, you don't want to miss this one.   The City of Your Final Destination is very very good.

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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