Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jan 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

THE GOOD HEART

film_THEGOODHEARTIt's hard to imagine what the good intentions were behind The Good Heart. There must have been some. This hybrid little oddity plays out as a stylized parable from an intensely personal viewpoint, that of Paris-born, Denmark-educated Icelandic filmmaker Dagur Kari. Shot in (American) English with an international cast, the film is set in an unidentified modern city and populated by characters who are metaphorical archetypes rather than recognizable humans. They have no past or future; they exist in the moment in a simplistic story that's more fable than drama. At its center is Jacques (Brian Cox), the crotchety, foul-mouthed owner of a seedy neighborhood bar. Unburdened by spouse, children, or friends, he's devoted to his few eccentric patrons, in his way, yet hasn't a good word to say to anybody on any occasion. At the local hospital, where he periodically turns up because of his bum ticker, even the nurses wish he would drop dead. During one of his hospital stays, he meets Lucas (Paul Dano), a young homeless man who lives in a cardboard box down by the docks. Jacques takes in sweet-tempered Lucas and teaches him to run the bar, so the regulars he refers to as "morons" will continue to have a refuge after Jacques himself is gone. From here, the story might have gone in several interesting directions. Instead, Kari introduces a female with a French accent (Isild Le Besco), literally, out of the blue. As cardboard as Lucas' box, her sole film_good_heart_ver2purpose is to disrupt Jacques' relationship with Lucas and the all-male sanctity of the bar. For something this determinedly artificial to qualify as parable, it would have to come to a larger point, but nothing that happens in Kari's controlled little Petri-dish of a story has any resonance or application in the larger world. The hardworking Cox's misanthropic irascibility is funny for awhile, then tiresome, and Dano can't do much with his passive, one-note character. Kari's attempt at an ironic plot twist is telegraphed halfway through the movie, if not sooner. And a brief image of animal cruelty with no bearing on the plot and dubious metaphorical intent leaves a sour taste the rest of the movie never redeems. (R) 95 minutes. (★)—L J Watch film trailer >>>
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots