Ask the Dust (2006)

Colin Farrell is an extremely talented actor, but usually his talent is not used by cinema makers even at 50 percents. Ask the Dust is a rare movie where he’s not playing a gangster/bad guy killed for nothing in a final scene.

The movie plot is very French – and when I say French I mean a kind of story focused strictly on 2 persons and their relationship. Other characters can appear (and disappear), but after all their only function is to make the main couple more significant. If you’ve seen some movies by Truffaut, like La Peau Douce or La Femme d’à côté, their plots have this typical French structure.

Ask the Dust is a movie about a writer (performed by Colin Farrell) and a waitress (played by Salma Hayek) who met in 1933 in Los Angeles. He’s not rich, she’s just poor, and their story is more dramatic than a usual love story in cinema.

It seems to me that the director likes very much old movies, and in his film he tried to get as close as possible to their style and their leisurely tempo. For example, the opening credits are made in a form of book:


Costumes and cars are very stylish:

ask03 ask09ask14 ask22 ask23 ask25 ask28 ask36 ask37 ask47 ask70 ask71 ask72 ask73

I like to see typewriters in movies, and this one is Underwood:

ask02 ask39

The cast is also including such excellent actors as Donald Sutherland and Eileen Atkins. She asks Arturo: ‘Do you have a job?’ and after his answer ‘I’m a writer’ looks at him with such an expression, as if it’s not a profession at all.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Corinne S.
    Dec 20, 2013 @ 12:24:26

    “Demande à la poussière” est un de mes livres préféré de John Fante; c’est un californien que j’ai beaucoup lu, quand j’étais plus jeune.
    Je ne savais pas qu’un film en avait été adapté…merci !


    • verbinina
      Dec 20, 2013 @ 12:29:41

      Je crois que ce film avait peu de presse et de publicité, ce n’est pas un blockbuster. Je n’ai pas lu le livre, mais j’ai eu l’impression que le film doit suivre le texte (c’est facile de voir quand les cineates aiment le livre et quand ils ne l’aiment pas).


    • verbinina
      Dec 20, 2013 @ 12:30:23

      j’ai voulu dire “les cineastes” 🙂


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