Film Not 'Banal' but Emotionally Stirring

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 5, 2010

Dear Editor,
    The purpose of a film review should be to direct the potential viewer toward or away from the film. Fortunately, I read Marc Savlov’s review of Jack Goes Boating [Film Listings, Oct. 1] after I saw the film, or I might have stayed away. Savlov calls the film “banal,” a word meaning “lacking originality, freshness or novelty; trite, commonplace.” Unlike Savlov, I saw four moving performances, a tiny slice of life, and a love story. Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant, but when is he otherwise? His friend, played by Amy Ryan, is remarkable as well. True, there are no blue faces, no car chases, no fantasy, no gun fights, no war, no loud music, no interruptions in the linear development, just interplay among four people with significant relationship problems. Banal? To one viewer, emotionally stirring.
Virgina Oram
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