While unable to sleep more than 1 hour in a non-reclining center seat on Air France last month, headed to Europe, I watched “The Judge” on the plane. Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall gave superb performances in the film. It’s a little heavy handed and stereotypical, but still a good movie nevertheless.
A string of near impossibilities and absurdities made it less enjoyable for me as a viewer, since I prefer to see a story to which I can relate , that makes sense, and that doesn’t try to Force me to suspend disbelief to the nth degree. Robert Downey Jr as the sleazy, successful lawyer-to-the-richest defendants, ok, I get that. Duvall as the hard line, strict disciplinarian who only understands “tough love”, ok, I get that. But
- bizarre sentencing histories,
- a strange small Indiana town that is faster to fly to than to drive to from Chicago
- a town so small that it has only 1 bar and everyone there knows everyone, yet big enough that it warrants multiple judges in its tiny little court house
- a distinctive lack of flying insects (I think they probably shot it in California somewhere) in any of the scenes (that Ain’t Indiana)
- Robert Downey Jr ramming a perfectly good garage door (his father’s), backwards, just to be an asshole
- a sentenced judge not being raped or killed or severely beaten in a small county prison system where he put most, if not all of the prisoners, into that system
Billy Bob Thorton and Vincent D’onofrio have very under-stated, under-played roles. I loved Billy Bob’s portable metallic collapsing water glass. I used to have one of those when I was in Scouts many years ago. D’onofrio could have done so much more with his part… but maybe directing and editing threw a wet blanket over his excellent acting.
You know… I saw another film while I was flying for 7 hours, sleeping for one 1, and tossing and turning for nearly 4… but I can’t think of what it was right now. If I recall it, I will blog about it here.