[Warning: strong opinions and spoilers below….]
I finally got to see the movie Breaking Dawn, Part I, and with the excuse of having a related blog, I thought I’d take a minute to express some opinions about it to get them off my chest as much as anything. I loved it, actually, and will undoubtedly see it a dozen more times. The highs in the movie were exceptional, but unfortunately, so were the lows.
Overall, I found it emotionally dramatic, riveting, especially the wedding, Bella’s pregnancy, and the birth. Kristen Stewart gave a subtle and emotional performance. For perhaps the first time, I really felt what she was feeling in this movie…love, lust, shyness, fear, and determination, and often, she expressed these feelings only in facial expressions and body language. Wonderful job.
Robert Pattinson’s performance should have been as good, as it always is (though he talks too fast), but I had the irritating feeling that the director or perhaps the film editor cut him off just when the camera should have been panning in and pausing. The wedding and birth scenes gave him better range, but the honeymoon scenes felted chopped and abbreviated, frustratingly so. I don’t know whether it was the direction, the film editing, or excessive censoring by the movie board (or the book’s author). More Edward, all the time! That’s my preference, in general.
The romance and sex were largely disappointing. This movie is where all of that build up should have hit its peak and been fulfilled, but the scenes seemed excessively edited, conservative, and lacking in sexual tension, which is a crime for this movie! I’m guessing that the scenes were filmed satisfactorily, but then were edited down to a G rating. I hope that an extended version will be released on video that is at least rated PG-13, but preferably R. For one thing, Edward should have been taking his shirt off all over the place and he didn’t once. (He had it off to swim and once in bed, but he never took it off. Big difference in a film.)
The wolves were given some delightful scenes, though once or twice they felt visually a bit cartoonish. The wolves were not large enough except in extreme closeup. Eclipse got the scale right; Breaking Dawn undersized them. I really enjoyed Jacob in this film. Taylor Lautner got to show some range and his acting gets better and better.
The script was wonderful. Melissa Rosenberg deserves a lot of credit for turning all the books into enjoyable movies. It’s not an easy job, especially for such beloved novels, and she hit all the right points in condensing them to two-hour movies. She’s my hero.
What the heck happened with the wigs and makeup? And how could anyone have made Rosalie and Carlisle less than stunning? During the hunger scenes at the house, I was very disappointed that just looking at the Cullens wasn’t as enjoyable as it should have been. Sure, they were thirsty, but they should never look unattractive…
The music was wonderful and tied into the first Twilight movie beautifully. The costumes were excellent, too, and the set decoration. I could go on, but I’ll stop here, except for the long lists below of my favorite and least favorites elements of the movie.
No matter what, you have to see it.
p.s. Feel free to express your own opinions!
Edward in the 1930s
Wedding toasts, especially Charlie, Jessica, & Emmett
Alice’s wedding cake scene
BooBoo Stewart, in general
Wolves attacking Esme & Alice
Ohmigod, the Dress!! (two dresses, actually)
Edward in his wedding tux
Kristen Stewart’s emotional performance
Visual depiction of Bella’s burning!
Swimming and waterfall scene
Alice & Jasper dancing
Edward resisting the lingerie
Edward spread-eagled across the headboard!
Newlyweds’ shyness before bedtime
Wedding setting, filming, set decoration
Filming of Bella starving, exceptional makeup–it was horrifying!
Charlie & Billy’s competition for Sue’s attention
Denalis (needed more differentiation & screen time for Tanya, though)
Beautiful boating scenes, Isle Esme’s beauty, funky Rio street scene
Jacob’s screen time
Too-abbreviated love scenes
Cullens were not beautiful, esp. Carlisle and Rosalie! Hair colors were wrong!
Wigs & makeup looked phony (sometimes)
Way too many clothes on the honeymoon
A different actor for Sue!
Author’s cameo appearance
Bella & Edward didn’t dance
50% too short (I know…wishful thinking)
Edward never takes off his shirt!