French filmmaker Luc Besson always seems to be wrestling with philosophical issues. Unfortunately, he’s brought his ill-informed, drug induced, gnostic musings, complete with pseudoscience, to the big screen with LUCY, starring Scarlett Johansson. Besson is commended for making his vision his movie, but beyond that, his vision is a mess.
The movie opens with Lucy being manipulated by Richard in some Chinese town to deliver a small silver briefcase. Lucy resists while trying to recover her moral perspective. Richard handcuffs the briefcase to Lucy and pushes her inside the hotel.
With fear and trembling, Lucy asks for Mr. Jang. When he shows up with his army of goons, Director Luc Besson starts inserting documentary nature footage of an antelope being attacked by cheetahs. Clearly, Lucy is the antelope, and the villains are the cheetahs stalking their prey. Besson also introduces the supposedly first primate humanoid, the one which evolutionists long ago labeled “Lucy.”
Meanwhile at some point, the movie states that the world is billions of years old. This flipping back and forth between documentary footage of a mouse getting caught in a mousetrap and the dramatic movie creates a very goofy feel. The audience doesn’t need nature documentaries to tell us that Chinese villains are coming after Lucy.
Back at the hotel, the evil Chinese shoot Richard through the door. Then, they drag Lucy up to the hotel room where everything is splattered with blood, and corpses are seen lying around the bedroom. Lucy is ordered to open up the silver case, while the tough Chinese goons tremble and hide in case the case explodes.
It turns out the case includes several bags of an extremely potent, LSD type drug called CPH4 (which is supposed to be like an atomic bomb going off inside your brain). The Chinese give a snort to a man who goes insane and is executed, before hiding the bag inside Lucy’s abdomen.
Lucy and a few other human mules (or drug carriers) are sent to Europe with the drugs inside of them to be retrieved by the bad guys in each country to eventually sell. Lucy gets waylaid, and one guy punches her in the stomach when she resists his desire to rape her. This releases the drugs, which starts the process of her purportedly being able to use more than 10% of her brain.
With her newfound intellect, Lucy escapes, contacts a professor played by Morgan Freeman who lectures on the evolution of the brain, and the movie shows percentages on the screen as Lucy’s brain increases from 10% to 20% to 30% and so forth.
Lucy informs a French police detective to capture the other human mules. Meanwhile the Chinese go on an all-out war to recover their goods. Lucy takes a moment to torture, but not kill Mr. Jang, then she goes to Europe where car chases ensue, and she finally meets the Professor. Lucy goes on a binge to take all the drugs so her brain can reach 100%.
[SPOILER ALERT] She then becomes the great “I AM” (the one true Creator God’s name for Himself). She travels to the past or follows her genetic memories to touch the first female, Lucy, imparting her knowledge to her.
Although you might not want to read the spoiler, this movie is so toxic that it might help you to not waste your time watching this movie. The good news is that Luc Besson seems to be looking for the meaning of life. What he finds is a gnostic, highly materialistic, evolutionary answer without God. The movie states that the only purpose of life is passing on knowledge. However, Lucy’s intelligence doesn’t help her become a better human being. Thus, at one point, she mentions to the professor that she’s losing her humanity; such as: her fear, love, feelings, and compassion. This is demonstrated when she tortures the mob boss and indiscriminately slaughters people, including a hospital patient in the operating room.
The direction of this story not only is depressing. It also seems like the ultimate LSD trip, except in this case, the hallucinogen mind expansion drug is a natural hormone that supposedly starts a baby’s thinking in the womb. Thus, the plot is a confused mixture of pseudoscience and Gnosticism.
If the ultimate goal is for us to become one with everything, then we can no longer individually experience love, joy, peace, and all the other cardinal virtues. What a sad, nihilistic vision of mankind’s future!
To make the movie even more absurd, Luc Besson uses all this documentary nature footage to illustrate what he’s clearly saying. He also inserts several lectures informing viewers didactically about his silly Gnostic beliefs.
LUCY the movie pushes a heavy-handed evolutionary agenda. It’s interesting that Scarlett Johansson gives one prayer to God before she goes on her “mind expansion” journey. The acting is serviceable. The music is irrelevant and adds nothing to the story.
The good news is that movie is action packed and very short. The bad news is that it’s going to give a lot of false beliefs to many susceptible individuals and contains a lot of graphic violence.


A MOST WANTED MAN is a spy thriller based on a novel by acclaimed novelist John le Carré. Never a patriotic spy novelist (unlike the creator of the James Bond novels), le Carré has turned increasingly Anti-American and Anti-West in his novels. So, this story is a leftist critique of President George W. Bush’s rendition policies, the policy of kidnapping terrorist suspects and sending them to other countries for interrogation, countries that might engage in torture activities that go beyond practices such as enhanced interrogation or waterboarding. In his more recent fiction, Le Carré stacks the deck so that Americans, or in at least one case, Israelis, are the worst characters and Muslims or patriotic communist spies and leftists become innocent victims of the evil Americans or western capitalism. This is pretty much what happens in the novel and the movie version of A MOST WANTED MAN, although the movie’s main American character doesn’t turn out to be really bad until the very end.
The story of A MOST WANTED MAN centers on Gunther, a chain-smoking middle-aged man who runs Germany’s secret anti-terrorist division in Hamburg, the port city where the leader of the 911 hijackers was stationed. Gunther is focused on co-opting Abdullah, the head of a large Muslim charity group, who launders some of his charity monies to a shipping company in league with Muslim terrorists overseas. A young Chechen Muslim named Issa is a key to Gunther’s plot. Issa entered Germany illegally and is trying to become a German citizen. Issa’s mother was raped by a Russian military officer with lots of money in a secret German bank account.
Gunther and his team co-opt a beautiful young attorney named Annabel, who’s helping Issa get legal papers. Issa doesn’t want his father’s money. Instead, he wants to use only a small part of it to get his citizenship papers. So, Gunther and his team convince Annabel to convince Issa to give his money to Abdullah’s charity. Then, Gunther will have leverage on Abdullah to convince Abdullah to help Gunther get the goods on the terrorist leaders behind the shipping company.
Can Gunther convince the heads of the German spy agency and the local chief of the CIA’s bureau in Germany, a woman, to go along with this plan? Even if they do, will Gunther’s plan succeed?
As in many, though not all, of le Carré’s work, the hero here is a master of manipulation. However, A MOST WANTED MAN is another case where the manipulative hero is himself manipulated and even betrayed. Although this makes for thrilling, intricate, compelling storytelling, the tendency to make the western powers, especially the Americans, the bad guys, and the Muslims or leftists the good guys (or at least the innocent guys) continues to be annoying and evil. Le Carré’s more recent stories, thus, have become too much like ham-fisted leftist propaganda rather than well-written novels of intricate intrigue.
The worldview seems highly Romantic, but sometimes borders on misanthropic. Thus, the characters in this le Carré story, as in many others of his, are part of a world where the social and political order has corrupted people, who seem born good. Still, one also gets the sense that le Carré sees people as incapable of being transformed for the better. Thus, le Carré’s world is a world without Jesus. Ironically, the hero here makes an offhand remark about the saving power of Jesus Christ, but it’s clear that he himself doesn’t believe in it, despite the inner sense of decency that his character sometimes displays.
MOVEIGUIDE®, therefore, can’t commend A MOST WANTED MAN. Ultimately, it seems to side with the bad guys, the Muslims who either commit heinous acts of terror or let them occur under their nose. Some of le Carré’s earlier stories, such as THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY or TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, seem to be much better, more rewarding examples of this style of fiction and of le Carré’s best work. Clearly, the Richard Burton version of THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD and the TV version of TINKER featuring Alec Guinness remain the two best versions of a le Carré novel. Le Carré means “The Square” in French, by the way.

Stylish Fantasy Series About Angels Premieres


Stylish Fantasy Series About Angels Premieres

By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

Not only are there more movies with faith and values opening at the box office, but there are more TV networks aimed at the large faith and family audience in America. UP TV has set the pace by improving the quality of its programming with each TV movie.

Now, Parable TV has produced a very stylish series called THE RECORD KEEPER.

This 11-part series has the look of the movie HUGO, combined with DOCTOR WHO. However, it takes place in Heaven as the Record Keeper tries to keep track of all the angels, not just all the good angels but all the fallen angels.

This is a fascinating concept. To make it dramatic, which it is, several episodes deal with two angels who are friends, one who remained loyal to God and the other who chose to go with Satan in his rebellion. The arguments between the two angels highlight the difference between someone who’s willing to give, share and do the will of the Creator, and someone who feels they’re not given enough recognition, power, etc.

THE RECORD KEEPER is an interesting series and a great start for Parable TV. Sometimes, the episodes suffer from style over substance, where the story is neglected, and there are portions of static dialogue, where the production looks very theatrical like a theater production rather than a television production. That said, there are some good acting, some nice camerawork and some beautiful design.

MOVIEGUIDE® congratulates Parable TV and looks forward to them improving the quality of their programming, especially THE RECORD KEEPER.


What Do the Emmy Nominations Teach Us?


What Do the Emmy Nominations Teach Us?

By Michelle S. Lazurek, Contributing Writer

Remember when you were in high school and in order to be a part of the popular crowd you had to dress and act just like them? Then, once they deemed you worthy to become one of them, you had to constantly conform to their standards, even if what they were doing conflicted with your values and belief systems?

Some things never change.

Last week, Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly hosted the live broadcast of the nominations for the 2014 Primetime Emmy awards. Leading the pack was Netflix’s  original series HOUSE OF CARDS with 18 nominations. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK followed closely behind with 12 nominations, the most of any comedy, while highly acclaimed show BREAKING BAD received 16 nominations. Although each of these shows have completely different plots, they all share one thing in common:  all of them are rated MA for mature content.

With all of these shows with mature thematic material receiving Emmy nods, this creates a disturbing trend for network TV. Shows with tamer storylines will now have to add more violent and sexual content to keep up with the shock value these Emmy nominated shows portray.

The main plotline of BREAKING BAD involves an introverted Chemistry teacher (Bryan Cranston) who, along with his former student (Aaron Paul) start cooking Crystal Meth in order for Cranston to provide for his family after his sobering diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer. Although some may relate to the show’s main character, most episodes involve gruesome violence, all communicating the pervasive message that life is not to be considered sacred if it gets in the way of a big payday.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK takes a comedic approach to life in prison as white-collar woman Taylor Schilling serves a prison term of fifteen months for being an accessory to her former girlfriend’s covert drug operation. Black’s plot has very little violent content, but includes gratuitous sex scenes so graphic, they border on pornography.

What does this mean for your favorite, mildly themed shows?

Much like high school, the popular kids of cable are making gratuitous sex and violence the norm and major networks are going to have to up the ante if they want to contend with them.

According to an article entitled “More Sex, More Violence, More Troubled Kids,” author Kristen Fyfe confirms that TV shows are in fact portraying more graphic content. The Parent Television Council found “that portrayals of violence are up 75 percent since 1998. And, the violence portrayed is now a fundamental part of storylines, whereas in 1998 violence was incidental to plots. The study also found that violence is depicted more graphically than ever before.”

Fyfe continues, “A quick glance at a prime time lineup makes it easy to see why violence is up:  C.S.I., C.S.I.:  New York, C.S.I. Miami, 24, House, ER, Criminal Minds, Crossing Jordan, Bones, Prison Break, Medium, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, NCIS.  Hour after hour after hour prime time is filled with shows that plumb the darkest reaches of human nature, and show the grisly aftermath of murders, rapes and assaults.”

With shows receiving awards for the more disturbing content, one can only assume the trend of more maturely rated shows will increase, creeping their way into the major networks’ prime time lineup.

Now, excuse me, while I return to watching reruns of “The Brady Bunch.”


New STAR WARS Actor Takes A Jab At Political Correctness


New STAR WARS Actor Takes Jabs at Marvel’s Political Correctness

By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor

Tuesday morning, breakout star John Boyega who has a leading role in the upcoming STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, went on a tongue-in-cheek rant against political correctness regarding recent Marvel Comics news.

Recently, Marvel made two announcements regarding two pivotal Avengers characters who’ll be stepping down from their heroic duties in the print versions of their comic book characters.

As announced on The View, a woman is replacing the male character Thor, but she will carry on his name and legacy in the comics, even though, in Norse mythology, Thor was male. Later, it was revealed that Steve Rogers is setting down his shield as Captain America and his good friend and ally Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, an African American character, will take over.

John Boyega took to the Twitter-Verse and wrote, “So Captain America will be a black man! Erm okay. . . Can we have character information, origin story and Steve Rogers comparison.” He continued, “There is no need to emphasize the ‘black’ man. Falcon has been by Steve’s side for some time.”

Marvels decision isn’t comical (pun intended) and ridiculous because they are switching up the race and gender of two popular superheroes (though, making Thor female does pose some questions). What’s so silly about Marvels “huge” decision and what John Boyega points out on Twitter is that they’re caught up in their own political correctness. Instead of telling positive, inspiring stories for everyone, they have decided to appease as many advocacy groups as they can. A few minutes later, Boyega sarcastically used the new Marvel movie GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY as an example.



Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.14.12 AM

Sam Wilson taking over for Captain America makes a lot of sense for Marvel, but the way they told the world reveals just how out of touch they are with the majority of Americans. We didn’t watch CAPTAIN AMERICA:  THE WINTER SOLDIER because Steve Rogers was white or male. We didn’t watch and love THE HUNGER GAMES:  CATCHING FIRE because Katniss was female. People all over the world love stories that give them hope regardless of race and gender.

Let’s stop pandering to people out of fear. If Marvel tells good, uplifting, moral, and family-friendly stories, none of the other stuff matters.

Boyega wrapped up his thoughts on the subject by tweeting, “Steve Rogers will always be my favorite Cap. Will defo [definitely] miss Sam as Falcon.”

Family Movie Night Made Easy!


Family Movie Night Made Easy!

Sometimes, family movie night can be more stressful than it is fun. Finding a movie that is both safe for the whole family and highly entertaining can feel like an impossible task. That’s why we created The FamilyNight™ App to help make those decisions for you. Movieguide® has been helping millions of families navigate the movies for three decades.

Familynight™ gives the busy family an easy way to great content everyone can see and enjoy. No need to look through 17,000 Netflix, or hundreds of thousands of iTunes, or Amazon prime, or Walmart.

Familynight™ just gives you one movie option every day that’s safe for you and your whole family to see. No struggle, no hassle, no need to be overwhelmed by too many choices.

Movieguide® makes it simple using its proprietary 150-point film analysis that’s been developed since 1988 by over 50 academics. It understands how movies impact kids at different stages of development. Familynight™ simply takes that knowledge and gives consumers an easy hassle free solution for their families on movie night.

The Familynight™ app will revolutionize the way families will spend time together and connect. With movie suggestions from a trusted source such as Movieguide®, parents will no longer have to worry what their family will be watching. Now, they can relax and enjoy the time with their children.

Get the app right here on iTunes for free! 


Hollywood Actresses Put Family First


Hollywood Actresses Put Family First

By Diana Tyler, Contributing Writer

Actress Mila Kunis (“The Book of Eli,” “That ‘70s Show”) recently told W Magazine that after her baby with fiancé Ashton Kutcher is born, she plans to become a full-time mom. While most Bible-believing Christians would agree that Kunis’s having a child out of wedlock isn’t something to be celebrated, her decision to step out of the spotlight for a while in order to focus on her child is certainly commendable, especially when one considers the fame-seeking, celebrity-crazed, “selfie”-obsessed society in which we live.

Ms. Kunis isn’t the first actress to bid farewell to Hollywood’s glitz and glamour after becoming a mother.

Jennifer Garner (“13 Going on 30,” “Dallas Buyers Club”), who was named the 2012 Celebrity Mother of the Year by Today’s Parent Magazine, said after her first daughter was born that “having a baby fills your life in such a way that no matter what you’re doing, there’s something bigger.” Her husband Ben Affleck has praised her in several interviews for the wonderful supporting role she plays in their marriage as a loving and encouraging wife, as well as being a hands-on mother:

“She is by leaps and bounds the most important person to me. . .. Over the past 10 years she has allowed me to have a stable home life while accomplishing my professional goals.”

Reese Witherspoon (“Legally Blonde,” “Walk the Line”), Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, and Jessica Alba are also examples of successful actresses who thoughtfully plan their filmmaking schedules around their kiddos’ calendars.

Reese Witherspoon told iVillage, “I only do one movie a year so that’s about three months out of the year, and the rest of the time I’m kind of a stay-at-home mom. I have an office so I go to the office while the kids are at school. But, … I go to the basketball game and the horseback riding competitions and all that kind of stuff, and I really enjoy being a parent. It’s a real grounding experience. . . It’s fun.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, “Nanny McPhee” star Emma Thomspon said, “You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time. I wanted to spend more time with my family. A year off was my birthday present to myself. I didn’t actually act or write. I was just a mum. I highly recommend others to do the same, if they can afford it.”

“Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker told InTouch, “I’m at home for a lot of the year. I’m not always shooting movies. And, I want to make sure people know, stay-at-home moms are working harder than a lot of us can comprehend. It’s not easier at home!”

Being a mom not only inspired Jessica Alba to embrace her maternal side, but also to start The Honest Company, a family and eco-friendly brand that provides natural diapers, body care, and non-toxic cleaning products. She also founded the Baby2Baby charity.

Alba shared with Los Angeles Confidential that she “[loves] everything about [being a parent]. . . I didn’t even know it was possible to have this much love and joy and happiness in my life. It’s overflowing, unconditional, and selfless. I never experienced that type of thing before I had kids.”

In her interview with W Magazine, Mila Kunis explained, “I have never wanted to be the person who only has business on her mind. To me, this job has always been a hobby that turned into a great profession, but I don’t eat and breathe acting. I’m sure Meryl Streep has a very different point of view. But I’m excited about being a full-time mom.”

Though actress Kirsten Dunst (the original “Spider-Man” trilogy) is not yet a mother, she shared her views on femininity with the U.K. edition of Harper’s Bazaar back in May, stating:

“I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking — it’s a valuable thing my mom created.”

The actress continued, offering her opinion on the topic of relationships:

“And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armor. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.”

Not surprisingly, her statements elicited an uproar of mockery and vitriol on social media and feminist blogs. “Jezebel” (interesting title for a blog if you ask me!) blogger Erin Gloria Ryan titled her reaction to Dunst’s remarks, “Kirsten Dunst Thinks Ladies in Relationships Should Wife the [expletive] Out” and wrote that Dunst, an “actress and blonde who looks good in clothes,” is “dumb about [gender theory]” because she isn’t paid to write about it.

On, Stacey Ritzen called Dunst an “insufferable person,” titling her write-up, “Kirsten Dunst Thinks That Women Should Know Their Place Is In The Home,” which isn’t, by any stretch, what Dunst said at all.

While it’s true that neither Dunst nor most of you reading have controversial, politically correct Ph.D.s in “Women and Gender Studies,” we do have at our disposal the ultimate resource on gender roles – the Bible.

As followers of Christ, the world and its fickle, ever-changing attitudes and opinions on issues such as gender, marriage and morality is not to inspire the way we lead our lives, nor is it to inform our identities. On the contrary, the immutable, transcendent, inerrant Word of God is the His divinely-breathed guidebook, if you will, from which we are to discover truth, seek wisdom, find peace, and obtain answers that may all fly in the face of what our current culture has deemed popular, enlightened, or “progressive.” Second Timothy 3:16 says:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (NLT).

So, what does Scripture have to say about the duties of women?


I ORIGINS is an entertaining, provocative science fiction drama dealing with spiritual issues. Although the worldview endorses the supernatural, it also endorses reincarnation, a false Eastern philosophy.
Dr. Ian Gray is a molecular biologist. He and his research partner, Karen, are studying the “evolution” of the human eye. At a late-night Halloween party, during his college years, Ian encounters and meets a shadowy masked woman with marvelous eyes with whom he has a brief sexual encounter. After their encounter, she vanishes before she can reveal her name. After some investigation and a series of extraordinary coincidences, Ian is directed back to this young, mysterious masked woman, whose name he discovers is Sofi.
Shortly after they officially meet, Ian and Sofi begin a romantic relationship and fall in love. During their courtship, Ian discovers Sofi is a passionate believer of Eastern spirituality. Sofi’s spiritual beliefs are concerning to Ian because of his scientific knowledge and background, but it doesn’t discourage him from continuing their relationship and wanting to marry her.
During the day that’s supposed to be their wedding day, Sofi suddenly dies after she’s cut in half by a malfunctioning elevator. Ian heavily grieves her death.
Several years pass, and Dr. Ian Gray has a successful career in molecular biology and has married his research partner, Karen, who’s expecting their first child. After the birth of their son, their son undergoes a study to detect autism. This leads Ian and wife Karen to investigate the study’s credibility. Eventually, they discover a connection between science and the supernatural that has far-reaching effects on people’s beliefs, and even change society.
I ORIGINS undoubtedly contains a pagan worldview, specifically Hinduism and reincarnation. Although there are elements of humanism and an evolutionary worldview displayed by the protagonist, these elements and worldviews are ultimately used to support spiritualism, the supernatural and religious beliefs. Ian’s humanist efforts (such as his study of the evolution of the human eye) lead him to pagan conclusions about religion and reincarnation.
Despite the movie’s undeniable presentation of paganism, I ORIGINS does mention God (the intelligent designer and creator), spirituality and the supernatural. The movie seeks to discover the meaning of life, which can be found in God, spirituality and the supernatural. From a Christian theological perspective, this supports the concept that humans are inherently designed by God to believe in the supernatural. The words of C.S. Lewis summarize this idea: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” Of course, in this movie, this idea is distorted by paganism (Hinduism and reincarnation), so viewer discretion is advised. Christians should be careful not to let such pagan beliefs distort their Christian theology.
Although I ORIGINS contains a heavy pagan worldview, the movie is fairly pleasing and entertaining. Most of its high quality stems from the acting, cinematography and the way the story is constructed.
The acting performances, especially Michael Pitt’s, are excellent. His performance convinces the audience of his character’s passionate atheism, his quest to disprove religious beliefs, the pain he feels after Sofi dies, and his powerful “conversion” at the end of the movie. Pitt’s excellent performance takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster that causes the viewer to sympathize with his character.
The brilliant cinematography contributes to the overall aesthetic value of I ORIGINS. There are certain moments in the movie captured by the camera that evoke a particular emotion in the audience. For example, the scene when Sofi is joyfully swirling, dancing and parading in slow motion as she heads to the courthouse to get married to Ian is engaging. The audience feels Sofi’s happiness and knows that this beautiful moment is only significant because it’s captured in slow motion.
Overall, the plot and plotline of I ORIGINS are enticing, but, sadly enough, they are predictable. Early in the movie, the audience becomes aware that the movie is advocating spirituality. Consequently, as soon as Sofi dies, the audience knows that somewhere toward the end Ian will have some sort of spiritual encounter. This ruins and interrupts the dramatic direction that the movie tries to take. This also causes the audience to become disinterested, tune out and stop expecting the unexpected. Nonetheless, the story, although distorted by a pagan worldview, of an atheist becoming a believer in the supernatural is beautifully told.
Overall, I ORIGINS is a profound movie that contains a heavy pagan worldview and a distorted perspective on spirituality. So, Christians must be careful not to follow the movie’s pagan theology, but rather be discerning and able to speak reasonably about the heresies contained in other religions.


MOOD INDIGO is a quirky, surrealistic French movie from inventive filmmaker Michel Gondry. It’s a tragic-comic love story about a wealthy bachelor and his paramour, who suddenly develops an unusual illness after they get married.
The story opens with the rich bachelor, Colin’s, best friend visiting Colin’s quirky house. Colin shows his friend one of his inventions, a “pianococktail” which makes cocktails! Colin’s trusty chef, a black man named Nicolas, makes tasty dishes for Colin and his visitors, and the food and plates literally dance around the table and automatically clean themselves up. The movie also shows a man in a mouse suit, who plays the mouse that lives in Colin’s floorboards.
Colin and his friend, Chick, are into Duke Ellington jazz and swing music. Chick invites Colin to a party to introduce Colin to Chick’s new American girlfriend. Colin goes to the party in hopes of falling in love with someone there himself.
Sure enough, Colin meets Chloe at the party. Before they know it, they’re dancing to Duke Ellington in an exaggerated, old-fashioned way that involves more animated tricks. Everyone’s legs seem to lengthen magically as they dance in a jitterbug fashion.
Colin and Chloe enter a whirlwind courtship. On their honeymoon, however, Chloe develops an unusual illness when a waterlilly begins to grow in her lungs. The only thing that seems to help Chloe is for Colin to surround her with a never-ending supply of fresh flowers. Will it be enough to save her?
MOOD INDIGO is a faithful adaptation of a surrealistic novel by French jazz enthusiast, musician and writer Boris Vian. Vian contracted rheumatic fever as a child, and this gave him a heart condition that led to an early death. So, the story in his novel about Chloe’s illness is partly based on his personal experience. Like the movie, in the novel, real world objects respond to the characters’ emotions. Thus, for example, as Chloe’s condition worsens in the movie, the inventions in her and Colin’s house start to break down and the windows get grimier, letting through less and less sunshine. Also, Colin’s inherited wealth begins to disappear. All this leads to a tragic, rather depressing ending.
MOOD INDIGO won’t be to everyone’s taste. The ending is unrelentingly sad. However, the filmmaking is very clever and even hilarious, especially in the first half. Finally, extreme caution is advised due to brief foul language, nudity, the rather hopeless ending, and some light sexual connotations. Ultimately, tragedy overcomes joy in MOOD INDIGO, including the joy of Duke Ellington’s music.


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