Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 210: Bubble (2005) - Rank 4/5


Fresh after watching an experimental film by one well-established director, I decided to indulge in another. While Steven Soderbergh may not have the widespread recognition Hitchcock does (I base that off of the fact that you're likely to get a random bloke off of the street to name a Hitchcock film before a Soderbergh film), the director has a reputable repertoire where film critics are concerned. "Bubble" is utterly unique in the fact that no actor in the movie has ever acted before. Soderbergh literally dropped down in a bumpkin Ohio town, grabbed folks off of the street and threw a camera on them. And as crazy as such a concept sounds, it works!

The story follows a trio of disenchanted drones who slave away day in, day out for minimum wage at a doll factory. Martha, a middle-aged gal of great avoirdupois, assembles doll faces and clothes and it close friends with Kyle, a young, high school dropout who spends his time in the moldmaking department. When a new, attractive airbrusher named Rose sets her sights on Kyle, the two start to grow close. But when a murder shakes up the small town, things don't turn out as favorable as one might think.

I felt a little cheated that Soderbergh had to include a murder, for I felt like it cheated the down-to-earth world he'd worked hard to create. It was obvious through the subtle tones and sideways glances that Martha was jealous of the friendship between Rose and Kyle. Careful attention also revealed that Rose was disreputable, for her stories didn't always sync. Yes, the murder brings many of the feelings of those involved to a level of the obvious, but I didn't feel that it was necessary. However, there are elements to the event (and you should already be able to tell that it's difficult to discuss he film too much without giving away what happens) that add depth, in a very sad way, to the main players that I appreciate. I will say this though: in the absence of the star power and Hollywood budgets that characterize so many of his films, from "Ocean's Eleven" to "Erin Brokovich," Soderbergh had the ability to focus more on the story. The result is one of the better, and certainly more memorable of his films to date.

Watch the Trailer

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