Tuesday, March 08, 2005

On "Millions"

I saw a preview for Danny Boyle's new film, Millions, last night. The same guy who gave us Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and 28 Days Later now has brought us a movie about two young boys who find a big bag filled with money; the elder wants to spend it to make new friends, the younger wants to give it to the poor. Yes, Danny Boyle has made what appears to be a movie for kids.

And maybe it's my impending dad-hood, but I found this film to be utterly charming. It takes an interesting middle-ground between reality and pure fantasy that begins with the premise that Britain is changing currency from the pound to the euro. Boyle uses a number of special effects and some brisk editing to make Damian's world a product of cinematic magic realism. (And I mean that in the best sense of the word: for some reason, this is not nearly as forced as I've seen it used in drivel like Like Water for Chocolate.) Damian's world is grounded in reality -- and yet everything he imagines (including meeting up with a series of saints) seems perfectly plausible. Part of what makes the film work seems to be the acting; while certain situations are really out-of-this-world, the characters are grounded in this one, making the film as a whole a true flight of fancy.

It's entirely possible that I'm becoming a sentimental sap. Then again, if that were entirely true, I would have probably liked Shultze Gets the Blues a couple weeks ago (which I loathed, boring even for me, a guy who enjoys slow, atmospheric films). We'll see how I manage tonight, as I'm planning to see an uplifting (sarcasm, please) film about Hitler.

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