This month I’ve watched two sets of European-film-and-shortly-followed-Hollywood-remake.
When I watched The Next Three Days (2010) I didn’t even know it originated with the French thriller Pour elle (2008). But I was intrigued and checked it out as soon as I could.
I have to say that Diane Kruger’s career confuses me somewhat. I liked her fine in National Treasure but couldn’t stand her in Inglourious Basterds. Then she’s in all those French productions that look really artsy and interesting, like Pieds nus sur les limaces. She doesn’t get to do very much in Pour elle, but it’s not like she’s Bridget-von-Hammersmarking the whole thing with a terrible fake German accent (as far as I can tell).
I feel kinda bad for Pour elle‘s writer/director, Fred Cavayé. Here he’s made a perfectly adequate movie that everybody involved could have forever looked back on without any regrets. But no! Along comes Paul Haggis, takes Cavayé’s script, adds a few b-stories, drops the not-even-really-a-sex-scene sex-scene and makes one of the most suspensful action-thrillers in recent memory.
It’s just like when I was five and drew my mother a nice little family portrait with crayons for Mother’s Day, only to have my older brother steal away any thunder there might have been with his very own beautiful oil painting of the whole family – including the dog! – framed in gold and still hanging in the living room today. (Full disclosure: Anecdote might be purely fictional.)
In the case of Pour elle and The Next Three Days, the latter is clearly the better film. That doesn’t take anything away from the French original, though. It’s good. Just not great.
My thoughts on Låt den rätte komma in (Let The Right One In) and Let Me In later.