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After several friends recommended the movie, “My Blueberry Night,” I finally had the opportunity to watch it during the weekend. The story is basically about Elizabeth (Norah Jones) and her journeys. After spends nights chatting with Jeremy, a New York cafe employee, she decided to travel to places with the purpose of healing her broken heart and moving on with her life. She visited several towns and got employed as a barmaid and waitress. Wherever she went, she met people whose confusion and turmoil are even bigger than what she has.

She met an alcoholic cop (David Straitharn) who was still helplessly in love with his ex-wife (Rachel Weisz). Elizabeth’s next stop is Nevada, where she meets a compulsive gambler (Natalie Portman). After the film, I read three movie reviews posted in the Internet and I think that the critics do help in analysing the quality of the movie’s performance. The review from San Francisco Chronicle According to a critic (Mick LaSalle) in San Francisco Chronicle, the movie’s overall story was modest and the director did an impressive job in directing the film.

The length of the film, about 90 minutes, was short enough to carry on the drama of its individual scenes and the strength of its performances. If it were any longer, the film might start to drag. The critic also described Norah Jones’ acting as a beautiful blank and the fragments barely add up to a movie. Weisz did a wonderful job especially in creating an emotional monologue in one unbroken close-up and was considered to be the best acting she had ever done. As for Portman, the movie provided the impression that she was turning into one of the most fun-to-watch actresses.

My responses Indeed, the simplicity of the story and a handful of actors made the movie credible. The story was nothing complicated, which bears the elements of being straight and clear. The director was able to make it even clearer by providing descriptions on her destination. I think that 90 minutes were enough to tell the whole story thoroughly. If it was any longer than this, it would contain too many unnecessary parts that might bore the audiences. In terms of acting, Norah Jones has a mediocre (C-) acting performance but Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz are great (A).

Their acting did save the movie. The review from Filmcritic The critic in filmcritic. com thought that the dialogue of Norah Jones was sometimes over-obvious in nature. Her blank expression and dull line readings made little contributions to the movie; she was, on certain occasions, more expressive in her performance when the actor playing on the opposite (particularly Strathairn and Portman) was working in overdrive. Her acting was soulless and frustrating, which tended to hamper the film. My responses

Once again, the critic focused on Norah Jones’s acting. The critic gave some professional judgments on her dialogue and expression that she did not do so well on. To me, being a member of the general audience, I think her acting was fine and was not as bad as the critic said. When I was watching the movie, she seemed to be acting naturally. I did not see any of the blank expression as described by the critic. Her voice acting was also fine and I never found her to be engaged in reading her script soullessly. When she speaks, it did carry feelings.

Even though her acting cannot be entirely considered as good, she did not serve all the blame or be considered as a barrier for the film. The review from Entertainment Weekly Entertainment Weekly said “My Blueberry Nights” was beautifully shot that you’d be excused for thinking that the quality of the performances is almost irrelevant. Each scene is a symphony of colour and light, each frame exquisitely shaped by the play of pigment and shade. New York is with blue, wintry tones; Memphis in relaxed browns; Nevada’s casinos come with crimson. My responses

I had the same thought as him that the scenes were a symphony of colours. When Norah Jones was walking alone on a New York street during winter, the director used blue as the main colour. The colour blue enables me to associate with the feeling of loneliness and chill, which are the things that Norah Jones was experiencing at that moment. While Norah Jones was in Nevada’s casinos, the main colour was crimson which made me felt nervous. Aside from using acting, music and dialogue to express a scene, I never expected that colour can also have such a great emotional impact.

Understanding how colour affected human emotions can help in creating better scenes and the director was doing a very good job at that. My opinion of casting If I were to change certain things regarding the cast, I would replace Norah Jones with Hilary Duff, who is an American actress. Hilary Duff is young and fresh, which fits the character of Elizabeth. She has a rich experience in acting. After working in local theatre plays and television commercials during her childhood, Duff played a role in the television series, Lizzie McGuire, and several movies, such as Cheaper by the Dozen, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and A Cinderella Story.

As for Norah Jones, The Blue Berry Night served as her acting debut. She definitely lacked the needed experience and Hilary Duff would have displayed better performance than Norah Jones does. In general, those reviews did help in judging the quality of the movie. It pointed out many problems related to the movie and helped me understand more regarding different aspects. In fact, I gained more ideas on what directing, acting and storytelling are about. From now on, I have a better sense in distinguish the quality of films.

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