Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I am grateful to Netflix for telling me I would like this movie. I am so moved by it that I want to lie outside in a completely dark place to marvel at the stars. But then the mosquitoes would bite me and a palmetto bug would creep into my hair, so I am satisfied by the thought of Infinity (1996, PG, Available On DVD).
Infinity makes me a little sad because the story c'est tragique and because it came out in 1996, but I didn't know about it until a few weeks ago.
Not many physicists are well known. Fewer physicists publish books that are a popular success. Richard Feynman (Matthew Broderick) was such a physicist. Infinity tells the story of his education and work on The Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, but to a greater degree, it is the story of the great love between Feynman and his wife Arline (Patricia Arquette), who is diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Broderick and Arquette portray the beautifully romantic love between the couple to the nth degree. Critics often accuse Broderick of never playing anything but himself, or Ferris Bueller. If Broderick is himself in this movie, then he needs to change his name to Richard Feynman. This is his finest performance. Arquette is lovely, and such a good actress. I'm not very familiar with her work, but I love her now.
Furthermore, Infinity is Broderick's directorial debut, and his mother, Patricia Broderick, wrote the screenplay. What a collaboration between a mother and son.
Congratulations to the cinematographer, as well, who captured many beautiful shots, some by accident, according to Matthew Broderick and Patricia Broderick
It's well worth your time to listen to the Brodericks' commentary on the DVD. It includes many interesting anecdotes, and I always enjoy learning about the technical aspects of filming.
I'll share one of their stories: When they tested the movie before an audience, one of the oft-repeated comments was that Broderick didn't sound as if he's from New York. The audience thought Arquette's New York accent was spot on.
Of course, Broderick is from New York, and Arquette is from Los Angeles. Arquette worked with a coach to capture her accent.
Richard Feynman: Mathematics is a language. It's very difficult. It's subtle. You couldn't say those things any other way - and I can talk to dead people with it. I talk to Copernicus every day.
Infinity earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. It also has a historical connection with the book I'll review tomorrow (Friday) for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse.
I doubt if young children would like this movie. It might be a good way to introduce teens to physics and The Manhattan Project.
Infinities of mathematical love,
P.S. Warning: This movie does not have subtitles and it skips around in time a bit. One must watch carefully to follow the plot. For that reason, Willy Dunne Wooters did not watch it with me. Without subtitles, he has no hope of understanding people with Bronx accents.
I just noticed something about the DVD cover: Why is Matthew Broderick's name over Patricia Arquette's face, and Patricia Arquett's name is over Matthew Broderick's face?
My hubs has read most of Feynman's books, and read many other physicists before his heart attack. I see a couple in the bookcase (Perfectly Reasonable Deviations is one), but not the one you mentioned. I must have missed it too, but I don't like watching sad movies.ReplyDelete
I didn't mention any titles of his books. I understand not watching sad movies.Delete
it sounds interesting and romantic, you write good reviews JanieReplyDelete
Thank you, my Ocean Girl.Delete
Hello, dear Janie!ReplyDelete
<< But then the mosquitoes would bite me and a palmetto bug would creep into my hair >>
I wish Janie Junebug would creep into my LAIR! :)
I don't know how I missed Infinity but I surely would like to see it now that I've read your review. Patricia Arquette is an underrated actress. Mrs. Shady just finished watching every episode of her Medium series on Netflix. Mrs. S and I had already watched the entire series in first run. I have fond memories of Patricia's sleep being tormented by Freddy Krueger in her debut movie role in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, and her nude scenes in David Lynch's Lost Highway.
Like you I love to study the film making process and appreciate when shots that are captured by accident are used in the final edit. I rather enjoy a good tearjerker if it is intelligently written and well acted, especially if it is biographical. Seems like I am describing Infinity.
Thank you for the review, dear Janie Junebug, and have a wonderful day!
I doubt if Mrs. Shady wants me to creep into your lair. Besides, I don't do much creeping. I don't see this movie as a tearjerker. It's poignant. I like poignant.Delete
Hi Janie - that's definitely a movie I should see .. looks to have lots of interest .. noted it -for a rainy day as such .. cheers HilaryReplyDelete
It's quite lovely, Hilary.Delete
My husband is from Oak Ridge, so I've heard all about that aspect of the project...not much about its earlier years, though.ReplyDelete
I would like to see Oak Ridge, though I've read that not a whole lot is left there now.Delete
Didn't SOUND like he was from New Yawk? What were they going for? Bugs Bunny? Anyway, looks like a great movie. I like Matthew Broderick.ReplyDelete
Palmetto bugs? How many people know they're flying cockroaches?
People who read my blog regularly know that palmetto bugs are gigantic flying cockroaches.Delete
I've been watching and enjoying the TV program Manhattan, and I like Mathew Broderick so I'm surprised I missed this movie. Must check into it.ReplyDelete
I like Matthew Broderick, too. He says in the commentary that he finished the work on Infinity when he was in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. We saw the next-to-last performance of that show and loved it. Sarah Jessica Parker played Rosemary. She was wonderful. They weren't married yet.Delete
Thanks for letting me know about Infinity, the movie. I became interested in the writing of Richard Feynman after dating a physics/mechanical engineering student a loooong time ago. Feynman had an incredible way of communicating scientific ideas to a lay audience, so that anyone could understand. His relationship with his wife was something truly special.ReplyDelete
His ability to communicate concepts to anyone is part of the movie. The Hurricane majored in physics and mathematics. Her Ph.D. is in math. Her boyfriend's name is Physicist.Delete
Oh no....no subtitles! I'm forever lost.ReplyDelete
Now I won't be able to stop worrying about you. Thanks a lot.Delete
I bet it's a challenge for actors to speak in an accent that is unfamiliar to them. Glad to hear these actors accomplished that.ReplyDelete
Thanks for signing up for the Bucket List Blog Hop!
I think it's easier for some actors than others. Just as many of us can imitate a British accent, a lot of Brits can imitate an American accent. The Hurricane hated it when her first Brit boyfriend made fun of American accents. Don't thank me yet for signing up for the blog hop. You might not like what I put in the bucket.Delete
Okay, I'll be renting it! Thanks for the review.ReplyDelete
I hope you like it. It's an elegant love story, though c'est tragique. I think French is the appropriate language for anything that is tragic.Delete
I always have subtitles on. Bummer. Must be because it is from the nineties. I'll still queue it up. I like Matthew.ReplyDelete
I understood almost every word, but the house was quiet. I watched alone. The dogs didn't bark at every cat who dared to stroll down the street.Delete
Huh, never heard of it. Which seems weird, because I love Mathew Broderick. I will have to give this one a try!ReplyDelete
I was surprised I'd never heard of it.Delete
A mother son collaboration? How sweet. I like Matthew Broderick. So far, my favorite movie was Brighton Beach Memoirs. If he plays himself, then he's always a likable, lovable guy.ReplyDelete
Definitely funny and lovable, but also capable of turning in a dramatic performance, as he does in Infinity.Delete
I bumped that one up my list. Had picked it because of the two actors. I think Patricia is especially underrated! :)ReplyDelete
Patricia's performance is lovely.Delete
I'm gonna watch this Saturday when the youngun is off on a camping trip, I love a good recommendation.ReplyDelete
In spite of naysayers, I've always like Matthew Broderick; I guess it doesn't matter if someone plays themselves, as long as I like the person in the first place.
He was wonderful on Broadway. Seeing him in person was a thrill.ReplyDelete