Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rodrigo Garcia Saves The Melodrama

// By Jonathan Jackson //

Director Rodrigo Garcia has stayed relatively under the radar. An astonishing feat considering his impeccable directing and writing track record, which includes the 2005 Milwaukee International Film Festival Closing Night film Nine Lives and countless hours of the best television of the last decade (Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Big Love and In Treatment).

He is a gifted storyteller whose direction, which comes across as effortless, creates a lyricism that supports, not distracts, the complex character studies he creates. I would argue that no other writer/director working today creates characters with the same degree of psychological depth.

Actors must be dying to work with him.

Mother and Child features Annette Benning, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smitts and David Ramsey in a multi-character drama centered on love and parenthood. The scandalously under seen Annette Benning, the luminous Kerry Washington (in her second 2010 Sundance appearance), and the masterful Naomi Watts all deserve awards consideration at next year's Academy Awards.

Most melodrama in television and movies today is not generated from the characters, it is manufactured by vacant plot twists, over dramatic acting and vomit inducing scores. It is reassuring that we have an master/writer director choosing to work in the genre, reminding us of the potential it has to generate a profound connection with audiences.


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