When I saw Film Focus: Jennifer Connelly I was intrigued.
Jennifer Connoly is an incredible actress, so a collection of her films had a high chance of being a slam dunk. And yet, somehow, out of the three movies I had only seen one, making this something I absolutely had to check out.
Looking at the movies, the first thing that stood out was there being a John Hughes movie I hadn’t seen. Career Opportunities had me curious, House of Sand and Fog I already knew was a clam dunk, but Waking the Dead was a flick I had meant to watch for years.
I’ll jump into the worst of the collection first.
Career Opportunities is a romantic comedy where a guy who is notorious for lying, but has been failing in life gets a chance to be a night cleaner at Target. On his first night, after he is locked in for the night, he discovers a woman who hid out in one of the aisles. That woman is the daughter of a rich and powerful man, and sees herself as a victim because she doesn’t have the freedom poor people have.
Career Opportunities certainly feels like a John Hughes movie at times, but the biggest issue is the laughs just aren’t big enough. Neither of the leads are likable, and the jokes are never good enough to get you through. It’s an enjoyable enough movie, but it’s just missing something.
House of Sand and Fog is an incredible drama where a woman is going to lose her house due to a tax bill that she never owed money for. In the time she tries to fight the issue, the house is sold to an immigrant family who are using it to start moving towards a dream home. The family starts doing what they want to their house, while the woman starts to spiral. Initially nobody is really in the wrong, but it escalates like crazy to an insane ending. House of Sand and Fog is as good now as it ever was.
Waking the Dead is another drama. Here we have a relationship between a man who is into law and order and a woman who is focussed on helping people. She gets killed helping people overseas and we see him try to grapple with it, the past, and his desire to get into politics. It’s a really well acted movie, with a great story, but the presentation holds it back a bit. It jumps around in time like crazy and regularly kills the momentum it builds up. On the whole it is excellent though.
As with other Imprint blu-rays, it is loaded with excellent special features so you can learn heaps more about the movie if you desire. On top of that it comes in a really tidy sturdy box, also housing a soft cover book with more information about the movies.
As a collection, it is an eclectic mix of movies that demonstrate the career of an incredible actress. Jennifer Connelly is consistently excellent, and even the lows in the box set make the collection a fantastic watch.