Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Cutie and the Boxer (2013)

If you're looking to check out some movies from this upcoming Oscar season then stop and check out Cutie and the Boxer. It's nothing that spectacular, but it's well shot and I think captures the personality of these two very well. They also go the extra mile to capture the passion and the intertwining story of art happening here. I didn't find this movie to be as inspiring as other documentaries I've seen though, but I was compelled by these two artists who are known, but unknown outside of art fans.

Summary: Noriko and Ushio have been married for forty years, and it has been a crazy romance that centers around their love for art. Ushio is confident and is known for his boxing paintings. He was also big into the avant garde movement. Noriko's work is more like cartoons, and this movie chronicles her growing in confidence in her work without relying on her long relationship with Noriko to give her a place. The two though also have a lot of struggles though with their finances and their alcoholic son, Alex.

Acting: Well since it's a documentary no one is what we call acting. Instead the film makers are more so going into the lives of Noriko and Ushio. Their life is odd enough to capture and convey to the watcher. I believe that the director also captures how they are different and what has brought them together as well. Noriko's personality seems to be very much the same as when he met Ushio minus the alcohol. Noriko though seems a bit discontent with where she is currently at, and she is aiming to change her own perception of herself. I like how by the end while she doesn't regret her relationship, she acknowledges for the future her role in it needs to change.

Filming: From the movie poster I thought this might be a vivid and bright film. It is, but it's a little less magical than I thought. The shots are very photographic, and they capture the atmosphere of their lives well. I even liked how the drawings that Noriko does are brought to life and convey her early story of meeting Ushio, though there is something sad about it. The character development also feels very one sided. The movie implies this is about them both, but after this I felt way more toward Noriko, and why she is where she is than Ushio.

Plot: The movie sort of randomly plots you in the middle of this couples life. There isn't a lot of build up to who they are if you aren't familiar with them until the movie gets going a bit. I found that the older videos of them were well woven though to provide some back drop to where they are now. For Ushio, who is known, it seems odd he is struggling still so badly as he is. They also show their son, Alex, on film. I think most people would be reluctant to reveal an aspect of their life that seems to be their own sad doing. The guy seems to have as much talent as his parents, but he obviously seems to have some issues going on.

After watching other documentaries I just took away a lot less from this one. These people are very into their art, but the way they channel their focus on their work is very different than how I would approach it. They almost are so into what they do not much else is put focus on even their relationship. That is probably why they are together though. Their art comes first, and both realizes that.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

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