Jun 14, 2009

A.I. reconsidered

I saw A.I. again on Showtime last night and finally realised the problem with it: you don't believe the mother loves the robot boy. We believe in Joley Haley Osmont's love for her, but never hers for him. It's hard to know what the actress, Frances O Conner, could have done exactly — the part pulls her all over the place. She has to first reject her surrogate son, then grow to love him, and then abandon him when her real son returns. The rest of the film — in which Osmont embarks on a long quest to be reunited with her — seems heartbreakingly misguided. Maybe that's why it feels so desolate. I doubt this was intentional: the final ten minutes, in which the boy finally gets to spend just one day with her, is one of the more heartbreaking ideas Spielberg has ever come up with. It's almost a complete movie in itself. I wish he had decided to make it.

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