Best of 2006: Remember, Remember…

I want to talk about one of the most ignored great films of 2006. I liked it a lot when I reviewed it back in March. Now with the year behind me, I recently revisited the film, and was delighted to discover that it’s even better than I remember.

I’m talking about
CLICK HERE for my original review

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, V FOR VENDETTA is a terrific revenge story wrapped inside a “what if…?” tale of political corruption. James McTeigue, whom I expect more great things from in the future, directed the film with energy and flair. The Wachowski Brothers, who also produced, wrote the sharp script. Their fingerprints are all over this movie.
This is the true worthy (though not as cool) follow up to THE MATRIX. McTeigue did something marvelous I didn’t notice the first time around. V FOR VENDETTA contains many long speeches, the kind that brought down the MATRIX sequels. With V, the film cuts to other characters and stories, advancing the plot while we listen to the ideas. (A spoonful of sugar...)

As the film crescendos, the intercutting becomes more abundant. The last half-hour is told almost completely in voice-over. This could destroy a film, but the editing is masterful, building the complex story to a very satisfying conclusion. The editing doesn’t just deserve a nomination. It deserves to win.
The whole film is a technical marvel. It’s crisply shot, with a wonderful balance of black, white and red. The Art Direction is comic book futuristic, artistic and believable all at once. And the sound design is as good as I’ve heard all year. Just pay attention to the opening and closing sections and tell me this isn’t worth awards.
And of course, while a film like V FOR VENDETTA will never be considered for acting prizes, I want to mention the remarkable job by Hugo Weaving, playing the title character without ever once showing most of his face. Using just his dynamic voice and great physical gestures, he makes V into one of the year’s most intriguing and complex characters. Look at the physicality when introducing himself to Natalie Portman’s Evey. And if you pay attention, you’ll see that Weaving actually takes on 3 different disguises.

I hope my re-review makes you want to go back and re-watch V FOR VENDETTA. If you haven’t seen it at all, rent it right now. On top of all that I’ve said, the film is very relevant to our world today, and entertaining as hell. You might realize as I do, that when nominations are announced, a very worthy film will be missing from some categories.


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