Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Feb 10th
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

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster