Monday, 19 March 2012

An Opinion Revised

...about a particular actor, that is.

Until not too long ago, I didn't really like Leonardo Di Caprio. Neither as a man, nor as an actor. Or, rather, because I never found him attractive as a man (and still don't), and the films I knew he starred in were so NOT my type of film, I didn't give his acting skill much of a chance. None at all, to be honest.
So, convinced I was in for a boring-to-ridiculous performance, I sat down to watch my first full-length movie with Mr. Di Caprio, several months ago with RJ, who had brought the DVD for us to watch over the weekend.

The movie was "Body of Lies", and if that one didn't yet fully convince me, "Blood Diamond" did. Both are based on real life situations and not easy to swallow.
They are not for the faint-hearted and not made for a cosy evening of watching DVD, but they deal with subjects that are, sadly, very real and very difficult, as well as truly horrible.

While "Body of Lies" is about political and cultural differences between Arab countries and the US, "Blood Diamond" shows the manifold commercial and political interests mixed up in the exploitation of diamond mines in African war zones, such as Sierra Leone during the civil war, where the story is set. Topics such as child soldiers and cruelties unimaginable are openly addressed, and whoever has been watching the news and reading the papers in the last 10 or 20 years knows that, sadly, nothing in that movie is exaggerated for effect, but the horrible truth.
In both these films, Leonardo Di Caprio portrays the character he is playing in a convincing and credible manner. I was quite impressed, to be honest, and nowadays, I am not NOT watching a film only because he is in it and therefore, I expect it to be not to my liking.

The last one I saw was on Saturday night: "Catch Me If You Can".
It is not a new film, but I hadn't seen it until now; I knew the story of Frank Abagnale, Jr, to be true, and "Catch Me If You Can" is based on his autobiography.
One is torn between admiring Frank for how clever he goes about the various scams and cons he uses to make a living, and knowing that what he did was illegal and (mostly) morally wrong.
There is many a comical element in the film, but also some rather saddening scenes - just like life itself. Of course, quite a bit of the movie's appeal is due to the great 60s styling; the story is set in that decade, and the clothes, hairdos, furniture etc. are very well done in my opinion.
My favourite scene must be the one where Frank manages to outwit dozens - if not hundreds - of FBI and police officers at the airport, and leaves for Europe right under their noses.

I have put Frank Abagnale Jr's autobiography on my Kindle wish list.

Have you revised an opinion you had formed about a person, a book, a particular piece of music or a certain dish lately?

29 comments:

  1. Oh, Di Caprio, die Titanic mit ihm in der Hauptrolle fand ich schon immer überbewertet...
    Aber ich schätze ich hab nicht genug Filme mit ihm gesehen um ein richtiges Urteil bilden zu können.

    Mein größter "Meinungsfehler" war wohl Harry Potter. Früher habe ich immer gesagt: Was? Harry Potter? Hokus Pokus? Kommt mir nicht in die Tüte, so was kann nur schlecht sein (für meinen geschmack). Und wie ich mich geirrt habe!! Irgendwie habe ich dann doch das Harry Potter Buch 1 in die Hände bekommen und regelrecht verschlungen. (Harry Potter Bücher sind meine absoluten Lieblinge, ich kenne kein Buch das mehr durchdacht ist). Mit den Filmen habe ich mich mitlerweile auch schon lange angefreundet :))

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    1. Genau, Mella, die Bücher sind super, und die Filme sind doch nah genug dran an den Büchern (wurde auch unter "Aufsicht" von J.K. Rowling gemacht), dass sie nicht enttäuschen, wie das leider oft der Fall ist, wenn man ein Buch sehr gerne gelesen hat und der Film ist dann einfach ganz anders als man es sich vorgestellt hat.

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  2. Hello Meike:
    Everything which you write in your first paragraph would be true of our feelings towards Leonardo Di Caprio who has never, in any film in which he has played a role and which we have seen, endeared himself towards us. That said we have seen neither 'Body of Lies' nor 'Blood Diamond' and although, as you say, they are somewhat harrowing we shall certainly look out for them and give LDC another go.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance, although I will never become a "fan" of Leonardo Di Caprio's, I do now recognize his skill and won't shy away from watching a film simply because he is in it.

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  3. Yes, I realized -- too late, of course! -- that I had totally misunderstood Kay G's football comment on Scriptor Senex's blog. However, in my own defense, I do have to say that even upon re-reading it, the sentence structure could have been improved for clarity! Still, that doesn't excuse my rudeness, and I'm truly sorry about what I said. I hope you and Scriptor's other readers can forgive.

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    1. Don't worry, Canadian Chickadee, I did not take offense in what you wrote and am just glad that I was able to help clarifying the matter. That is the thing about written communication; we don't see the "speaker's" face or hear their voice and therefore have to rely on the letters appearing on our computer screen, which can make it hard sometimes to discern the more subtler notes.

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    2. And hopefully that's an end of it for everyone. What is far more important is that he is conscious and has recognised his family and answered questions rationally.

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  4. I have to say that I have not been a fan of Di Caprio. But I understand completely when one sees another dimension of some one or some thing and realises the talent, if not the brilliance, that is there.

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    1. Same here, Christine, and I will never be one of his fans, but it is always good to keep an open mind about such things and, every now and then, question one's own opinions.

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  5. Sorry, poor ol' Leo just went right out of my head when I saw the above comment. Had to go and see what I typed on Scriptor's blog! Looks like I don't have to say much, since I had others to defend me! Thank you to those who did so (defended me, that is). I am sorry if my sentence structure was unclear. We have had our computer problems all weekend and I have had to type things quickly before the computer died on me...(the computer man came on Saturday and AGAIN today...hopefully, it is sorted out now.) I have learned another lesson, do NOT leave comments unless you have the time to proofread them!!!
    And you know, I stand by what I said, I truly doubt that the game would have been stopped here.

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    1. Kay, to me, your sentence structure was not unclear at all, and I don't think there is any need for you to justify what you wrote by explaining about the hurry you were in. Things like that happen; in written communication more easily than when people can speak face to face, and there was no harm done.
      I hope the computer man was able to rescue your computer! What was wrong with it? Had it caught a virus?

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  6. Ah just goes to show first impressions can be wrong :-)

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    1. They can be wrong indeed, Diane :-)

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  7. I started off with a good opinion of him because he was so marvellous in "Gilbert Grape" when he was really just a kid. I thought he'd rather gone downhill since then. I don't follow celebs so I don't know what he is supposed to be like as a person but having had some insight into how celebs are treated, I'm not surprised they sometimes forget they're only human.

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    1. Jenny, I don't follow celebs either, and I couldn't care less about who is going out with whom and all that. When I looked up a few things on Wikipedia while writing my review, I found it said about him that he is a committed environmentalist, and it was reported that he donated 1 Million US-$ in 2010 for relief efforts after the Haiti earthquake.

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  8. Don't tell me you haven't watched Titanic yet?! (gasps)

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    1. No, I haven't, and I'm not gonna :-D

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    2. WWWWHHHHHYYYYY?!?! You should watch the 3D version coming out on April this year!!! XD

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    3. I certainly won't, Denise! :-D That one is soooo NOT my type of film :-)

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  9. Alle Mädchen aus meiner Klasse lieben ja den Film Titanic.
    Als ich ihn gesehen habe war mir aber persönlich langeweilig:D

    Früher dachte ich immer das Fluch der Karibik komisch wäre.
    Da war ich aber ziemlich jung und ich mochte Piraten persönlich rein gar nicht :*
    Aber jetzt wo ich älter bin liebe ich es und das nicht nur weil mein Lieblingsschauspieler Johnny Depp dabei ist :)

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    1. Titanic hat mich nie interessiert, wie meistens, wenn um einen Film so ein Riesen-Trara gemacht wird :-)
      Fluch der Karibik hab ich nicht gesehen, teils aus dem gleichen Grund, teils, weil mich das Thema null reizt. Aber Johnny Depp mag ich auch sehr gerne ;-)

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  10. Jo made me sit through Titanic twice. I have to confess that if one closed one's eyes and listened to the music it was passable.

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  11. Blogger just lost my comment - how annoying. Jo made me sit through Titanic twice. If one closed one's eyes and listened to the music it was passable.

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    1. It wasn't lost, John, there are two now - which fits, since Jo made you sit through "Titanic" twice :-)
      That, for me, would have been severe punishment. What did you do to deserve it?

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  12. I may be the only person on the planet who hasn't seen Titanic!

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    1. You're not, Jill, since I haven't seen it, either!

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  13. I am not a fan of Leo, but he was good at THE BEACH. Although I rather watched this movie because of Robert Carlyle's appearance...
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    1. Now I must out myself as someone who has never ever heard of Robert Carlyle... and "The Beach" did not appeal to me at all when it first came out; that was still during my "it's got Leonardo Di Caprio in it, so I am not going to watch it"-phase!
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