MOVIE: The Fall (2006)

thefallBefore I say anything else, allow me to extend my deepest gratitude to those of you who, in the Lee Pace Boyfriend of the Week comments, recommended this movie to me.  You done good, because I’m 99.9% sure this insanely wonderful film is going to be ranked #1 on my list of Favorite Movies I Saw in 2008 (a list debuting some time next week on the BotW site, by the way — as per annual tradition).

Not only was this a great film — nay, a brilliant one — but it was EXACTLY the kind of movie I would like.  And so I was grateful not only because you guys told me to watch it, but also because you obviously know me well enough to know this movie was going to have a real impact on me.  And that’s awesome.  You rule.  And you too.  And you — over there?  You also.

Set in a Catholic hospital in the 1920’s in Los Angeles, this movie focuses on two main characters — a stuntman named Roy (Pace) who recently suffered two significant injuries: one to his body (when he fell off a bridge during a stunt) and one to his heart (when his beloved girlfriend dumped him for a movie star); and a 6 year-old girl named Alexandra who has a broken arm from falling out of an orange tree (she works in the fields with her immigrant mother and sister).

One day, Alexandra, who is learning English, writes a note to her favorite nurse and tries to deliver it by sending it soaring out of an upstairs window.  Only instead of falling into the nurse’s awaiting hands below, the note flits around a bit and then flies into a downstairs window, landing on Roy’s lap.  Alexandra goes after it, and that’s how the two meet.  At first, she’s a bit wary of Roy, who has injured his spine and can’t move his legs — something any child might be a bit intimidated by.  But when he offers to tell her an “epic tale,” she can’t resist sitting down to listen.

Roy stretches the story out for days, ultimately attempting to use it to manipulate Alexandra into stealing drugs for him (“Do this and I’ll tell you more of the story,” e.g.).  But her English is still shaky and her first attempt to get “morphin3” fails when she only brings him 3 pills instead of the whole bottle, thinking that was what he wanted.  It soon becomes clear to those of us in the audience that Roy isn’t a recreational drug user looking to get high — he’s trying to kill himself, believing his life to be over due to his injury and the loss of the woman he so adored.  And as the story he tells Alexandra progresses, it gets bleaker and bleaker as he slips deeper and deeper into his depression.

The story itself is about a group of adventurers/heroes who have all been wronged in some way by the evil villain Odious.  To punish them, Odious has had them all sent to an island in the middle of the sea.  There, they decide to team up to get their revenge and, with the help of an elephant, manage to swim back to civilization (yes, I know — an elephant — just go with it).

As the story plays out in the movie, we hear Roy’s voice telling it to us, and what we see is Alexandra’s delightfully youthful and somewhat-confused imagination.  So, when Roy describes an “Indian,” he means a Native American, but to Alexandra, who is from some European or Asian country, an Indian is a man from India.  And that’s not the only example of her misinterpretations, which, coupled with the limitless extravagances of a child’s creative mind, make the story in Alexandra’s head that much more wonderful to watch unfold onscreen.

Eventually, Roy fails more than once to kill himself and, in a serious funk, refuses to see Alexandra any more.  Heartbroken, she decides to try to get him the “morphin3” he had wanted originally, but in the process, slips and falls and nearly dies.  What happens after that is something I’ll let you discover.  But suffice it to say I was worried it was going to end one way, which was going to make me very mad at all you guys who recommended it to me, and was instead, it ends a different way, and I ended up loving this movie more than I’ve loved a movie in a really long time.

So, do yourselves a favor: if you watch one movie this year — what’s left of this year, anyway — make it this one!  I myself can’t wait to see it again and again and a thousand times more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my awesome, awesome readers!!  You totally made my entire year with this one.  w00t!

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Drama
Cast:  Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru (cutest. kid. ever.), Justine Waddell

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22 Responses to “MOVIE: The Fall (2006)”

  1. megwood Says:

    Oh, p.s. I meant to also say that this movie reminded both my mom and I of two others we really like that share some similarities — “The Princess Bride” and “Secondhand Lions,” both of which are movies about fantastical adventure tales being told to children who can’t resist being thoroughly charmed by them. If you liked either of those (or both!), I think you’ll really like “The Fall” as well.

  2. melindam Says:

    With “Princess Bride” and “Secondhand Lions” as comparisons, I don’t think I’ll be able to NOT watch this movie!

  3. megwood Says:

    Word, yo. It’s awesome.

  4. Lizzie Says:

    I haven’t seen “The Fall” yet, but I looked it up on IMDb when it was first mentioned, and even by just reading the plot summary, I was reminded of “Secondhand Lions.” I loved that movie! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Meg, we WERE separated at birth, no matter the difference in our ages! 🙂

  5. Alisa Says:

    I know that this has nothing to do w/The Fall, but It’s offical, Sam and Soc return in March 09.

  6. Lorraine Says:

    I can’t say that I loved this movie but I thought Lee Pace was wonderful. I especially liked him in the non-fantastical scenes with the little girl.

  7. Lizzie Says:

    Alisa – MARCH!? I CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG!

    BTW, “Secondhand Lions” had an “Angel” alum in it: Christian Kane, who had played “Lindsey,” a lawyer with “Wolfram & Hart.” He played one of those brothers as a younger man in the stories!

    BTW again – “Lost” also has an alum from “Wolfram & Hart:” Daniel Dae Kim, who played “Gavin” (not a very Asian name – ?).

  8. megwood Says:

    Lizzie: Totally!

    Alisa: w00t!

    Lorraine: Word! Except for the part where you didn’t totally love it. For that part: Fooey!

  9. Lizzie Says:

    I forgot – “Lost” also has another renegade from “Wolfram & Hart” – Sam Anderson!
    (“Holland” on ANGEL, “Bernard” on LOST)
    Sorry – I’m a trivia freak!

  10. Alisa Says:

    Lizzie- I said the same thing to my hubby, but he remined me that there are a few other shows coming back in Jan. including Lost, so that may be the reason why. BUT lets not forget it IS coming back!!!!!! HAZAH!

  11. Lorraine Says:

    For the Christian Kane fans – he is in a new tv show called “Leverage” starring Timothy Hutton on TNT. It starts this Sunday but then seems to be regularly on Tuesdays. But it is TNT so it will be showing multiple times. It’s been getting good reviews and I’ve loved Hutton for a long time. And Kane is very easy on the eyes!

  12. Lizzie Says:

    “Leverage” does look interesting, and I hope it will be successful. I’m not going to get started on it, though – I have too many other shows I’m trying to get caught up on. Red Sox baseball really held us up with our tapes of shows, and I just don’t want to skip around, or leave any out. (Is this TV OCD?)

    And, anyway, what’s with “Heroes?” I don’t think I’ve missed any, but I STILL can’t figure out what’s going on! Sylar now seems to be working WITH Peter, and Matt is working with Dapnhe – she IS “Fast Girl” isn’t she? And has Claire become a killer, or what? And I continue to have terrible trouble with the dumb sub-titles in all the “Hiro” scenes. (BTW, James Kyson Lee – “Ando” was just on something recently – but my brain is getting so clogged up, I can’t even remember what!)

  13. Lorraine Says:

    Sorry Lizzie, I gave up on Heroes earlier this season. It just stopped being fun.

  14. Lizzie Says:

    Lorraine, you know what? I’m really close to giving up, too! But I did read that the “powers that be” are trying to “re-tool” the show, to return to more character – driven stories.

  15. megwood Says:

    Ooh, Heroes — I’ve been letting the episodes pile up for weeks now, I will confess. I’m still planning to get caught up, but definitely don’t feel like that needs to happen any time soon.

    The ONLY good part about the cancellation of Pushing Daisies is that it means Bryan Fuller will be returning (most likely) to Heroes. He wrote for the show during its first season, and scripted the best episode of the entire series so far, in my opinion (“Company Man”). Maybe he can turn things around.

  16. nitish Says:

    i didnt understand the end of this movie

  17. Lizzie Says:

    Obviously, “Company Man” must have been about HRG, but what was the story? I can’t remember exactly which one it was. BTW, you know that dumb mini-series about the hospital, by Stephen King (“Kingdom Hospital”)? HRG (a.k.a. Jack Coleman) was the guy who was out jogging and was hit by the car, and was all wrapped up in bandages, and kept having those hallucinations!

  18. Leslie Says:

    Not a word about how Lee Pace looks in that sleeveless military tunic? [/shallow] To borrow from Buffy, those are nice arms to have.

    And here I thought I was the only one ever to see/hear of this movie. Did you watch the extras? It seemed to be an unhappy isolated experience for Pace, thanks to the director’s weird decision to have the cast and crew for the hospital scenes truly believe Pace was paralyzed.

  19. megwood Says:

    Dang, I didn’t watch the extras! But I did put “The Fall” on my Xmas list, so maybe someone will get me the DVD and then I can watch. If not, I’ll be gifting it to MYSELF in January, because I can’t wait to see it again!

  20. Scully Says:

    I second the recommendation to watch the extras – and listen to the commentary. Makes you just want to give Lee Pace a big hug. Not that I don’t usually want to do that. Anyway, on a more superficial not, I just wanted to mention how awesome it is that Lee Pace can pull off eyeliner and look hot and non-douchey, hence falling into the Johnny Depp camp, rather than the Pete Wentz camp.

  21. Sarah Says:

    I have been a fan of your site (and blog) for a while now, and emailed you a long time ago about Tim Daly. I always mean to leave comments on your blog, but then just run away and lurk instead. What has driven me to finally email is to rave back about the Fall. I finally saw it at the weekend and really love it for all the reasons you gave, so thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. It also helps keep Lee Pace on my screen while waiting for the final Pushing Daisies episodes to be aired (they’re saying June?!).

  22. megwood Says:

    JUNE?! ARGH! They stink.

    Glad you liked the movie, Sarah! Lurking bad, commenting good! 🙂

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