Monday, April 25, 2011

"Bridget Jones's Diary" Has Fun with Words

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 236 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Running time: 97 minutes (1 hour, 37 minutes)
MPAA – R for language and some strong sexuality
DIRECTOR: Sharon Maguire
WRITERS: Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis (based upon the novel by Helen Fielding)
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Jonathan Cavendish, and Eric Fellner
EDITOR: Martin Walsh
Academy Award nominee

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of drama

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Celia Imrie, James Faulkner, Jim Broadbent, Felicity Montagu, Shirley Henderson, Sally Phillips, and James Callis, Salman Rushdie, Embeth Davidtz, and Honor Blackman with Julian Barnes

Renée Zellweger earned an Oscar® nomination in the category of “Best Actress in a Leading Role” for her performance in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Bridget Jones (Ms. Zellweger) is a 30-something, single British girl who decides to improve herself (i.e. lose weight) while seeking to find Mr. Right before she becomes an old maid (if she isn’t already that in her own estimation), so Bridget decides to keep a diary of her progress and her trials and travails. Her romantic endeavors eventually focuses on two men

There’s her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), at a publishing firm, and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who was childhood neighbor. Cleaver is a cad who lays ‘em and leaves ‘em, and Darcy is a sharp-tongue, embittered divorcee, who claims to have bad memories of Bridget as a child. Who will finish the film as Bridget’s beau, and will she make an ass of herself before she finds her man?

Although the film story doesn’t amount to much, Bridget Jones’s Diary’s script is witty and bawdy enough to cause blushing. Ms. Zellweger expertly plays the fumbling Bridget Jones, who has a penchant for running off at the mouth and saying the worst things at the worst times. Like her co-stars (especially Grant and Firth), she makes the most of the film’s dialogue; ultimately, it’s what the actors say that defines their characters. If they’d delivered their lines badly, they would have ruined the film; luckily the cast verbally dances around each other like Olympic fencers.

7 of 10

2002 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Renée Zellweger)

2002 BAFTA Awards: 4 nominations: “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Jonathan Cavendish), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Colin Firth), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Renée Zellweger), “Best Screenplay – Adapted” (Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis)

2002 Golden Globes: 2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Renée Zellweger)

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