In a near coma from a holiday meal today, we ventured out to see The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith. My resulting notes below contain some mentions of specific plot details, so if you haven't seen it yet and don't want anything spoiled for you, come back to this post later.
As a cinematic experience overall, the movie was quite well done. Smith and Jaden Smith (his son both in the film and offscreen) filled their roles as Chris Gardner and Christopher Gardner with a glow and depth that is uncommon. The story moved at a constant and engaging pace, always with just enough information to make the plot real, and never too much to make it feel like it was being told to a movie audience. The camera angles were mostly plain and obvious in a way that complements the content of the film just fine, but there were a number of really excellent shots that brought out the layers of emotion and determination so well - Chris and Christopher sitting a ways apart on a bench in the subway, exasperated, desperate, staring off and wondering what's next; the shots of Chris running through the streets of San Francisco with action-movie style camera-work but very believable results; the walks through the floor of a brokerage in chaos, and so on.
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