Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Morning Glory" (2010) - Movie Review

“Morning Glory” is the sort of film I would have easily dismissed to not see but a good recommendation from Roger Ebert (and I differ from his taste very many times on this genre) made all the difference in missing a very good film. Harrison Ford in his Indy flicks is known for his sarcasm and that shows in abundance in this film which has the kind of egotistical jerk Ford does it with a passive passionate vigour.

There is this traditional tale of workaholic woman discovering her work life balance disturbed way beyond repair and then the journey of her experience bringing her back to life before things go bad forever. Roger Michell’s film is no different. Apart from having talented cast of Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Patrick Wilson, it has a quasi real story to tell. Becky (Rachel McAdams) is the over achiever getting under appreciated in her work particularly when she gets canned from her very early morning show in New Jersey. She freaks out as her life is nothing but work. After several nicely edited scenes of Becky’s dry streak to give us the market sense of poor job opportunities, she lands at IBS, the movie’s fictional network which has the worst morning show in New York, Day Break.

Becky’s dream job might be to get in the Today’s Show at NBC but given her thirst for problem solving and crisis resolution at untimely hours, IBS job of her being the executive producer for Day Break is the ultimate dream position for her. She has an aging veteran Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) and a vacant co-anchor for her to fill as she created the vacancy. In comes the legendary iconic news reporter Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), another aging veteran alcoholic (movie does not emphasize on it as a sad note) who has forgotten to be social in his valour achievements in interviewing great leaders and capturing sensational real news.

Do I have to say that Mike dislikes the morning show and more so towards his co-anchor Colleen? Their banters (which Becky consistently asks Mike to do when the camera is rolling which he consistently ignores) are usual as in between to stars fighting for attention. Clearly Mike is the more annoying and antisocial cast of the two. He sees morning show with a disgust and especially being commanded by a late twenty producer is icing to the dreadful cake he wants to smash on the floor. Sprinkle the charming colleague Adam (Patrick Wilson) for Becky’s sanity hold of the reality, you get the formula which I would generally hate and prominently skip. But “Morning Glory” is better than that.

It has Rachel McAdams sincere to her bone in giving Becky as this insanely driven young woman desperate to reach for the skies. In her first day at the job she begins her first meeting with her cast and crew. Every one shoots their question without a chance for her to reply which is cinematically tacky and in another film she would have ran to her room and cried when a friendly veteran colleague would cheer her up to lead on. Not here. Becky replies with stunning clarity to everyone and does the killer blow in the end to her sleazy anchor (Not Mike).

Harrison Ford as Mike Pomeroy is another stereotype in these films that would have been miserably boring. Yet Ford makes it interesting. You would expect him to freak out when the show is on but he is passive. Passive to the core wherein him sitting out there is something he hates about the show. He does not blame him as he has been put forth in this position to not only be a witness to this ludicrous morning show but a participant in the catastrophe. He picks up the moderately serious news while leaving the other cheesy stories to Colleen. Colleen how much ever dramatic and narcissistic she is provides the much needed role to stabilize some existence in the lineup for their morning telecast of IBS.

Slowly and quite convincingly, “Morning Glory” begins to embrace us. It does not make Becky a complete sympathetic lone but a woman clouded by the ambition and has been pursuing it like a mad dog. Her realization of the life she is missing comes expectedly through Mike but how well Harrison Ford does it makes all the difference. Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum whose roles are nothing more than obligatory provide more than that. They trigger at the right times in small notes which makes the whole song in to a different melody never heard before. In the end, “Morning Glory” comes off as not alone a heartwarming feel good film but a very deserving one.

P.S: Roger Michell directed two tremendous films before this - “Venus” and “Changing Lanes”. His “Enduring Love” is odd but a sincere film which might not be great yet a sure worth of a watch.

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