September 30 - October 6, 2005 • Vol. 26 - No. 39

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—Can We Ever Really Plan Our Flight?

by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

Brian Grazer always chooses entertaining movies to produce. From Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, he seems to have a knack fore working with quality actors and crew. In Flightplan, he chose Robert Schwentke as the director who previously wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical The Family Jewels and directed Tattoo. The screenwriters are Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray (Shattered Glass and Suspect Zero).
The film begins in cold, dreary looking Berlin. Kyle Pratt, played by Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs and Panic Room) is at a morgue where she is dealing with the red tape of securing her husband’s coffin for the trip home to New York for burial. Kyle was employed in Berlin as a propulsion engineer for a new plane design called the AALTO AIR E-474. Her trip back to New York will be on this new plane. (What a surprise!). She leaves the next day with her daughter, who is traumatized by her father’s recent death. As Kyle and Julia board the flight, you see just how remarkable this plane truly is; it’s a wide, two-story behemoth that makes the747 appear small in comparison. Our two stressed out characters decide to lie down after takeoff and fall asleep. When Kyle awakes, two hours have passed and she quickly realizes that her child is not in her arms. After a casual search of the plane, she enlists the help of the flight crew. When that search comes up empty as well, Kyle is now frantic and requests—actually, demands—that the captain get involved. Captain Rich, played by Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings and The Island), orders an all-out search. Meanwhile, the other passengers are getting a little tense, to say the least. Kyle is like a tense coil about to unwind. The head stewardess brings a message to the captain. Apparently, Kyle’s husband took their daughter with him when he “fell” off the roof of their apartment building. Not only that, but there was no record of Kyle’s daughter ever having boarded the plane at all. Making matters worse, no one ever saw the child come on board or even on the plane. Now the crew and the passengers think Kyle is a NUT! After more crazy and dangerous attempts to find her daughter, the smarmy Air Marshall, Gene Carson, portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard (Kinsey and Golden State) handcuffs Kyle to her seat where she has to endure a visit from a therapist (who also happens to be traveling to New York—how convenient!).
To reveal any more of the story would give too much away, and finding out what happens is all the fun!
The Blonde: THRILLER, THRILLER, THRILLER and very Hitchcockesque! This was an enticing film! Flightplan was like The Lady Vanishes meets Panic Room meets Bunny Lake is Missing meets Gaslight meets Redeye!  I really enjoyed myself. It was a lot more fun watching it than being on the plane would be! I thought this film was both fun and exciting. I just love watching Jodi work. She is a flawless actress. She makes you feel everything she feels. She makes you connect emotionally to each line she speaks. I MUST add that Flightplan is 100 percent Jodi’s film. She steals the whole two hours with ease, although, the little girl was precious…
The Maven: Once again, Jodi Foster proves she is one of the smartest, most watchable actresses of her generation. I was unable to look at anyone else on screen when she was there. The story was interesting from start to finish; a visceral suspense thriller all the more intense because it deals with a subject all parent can relate to. You are 37,000 feet in the air and your child is missing. Worse than that, no one believes you even had a child with you. How could you possibly make strangers listen to you, let alone the crew to allow you to search? I can barely get a stewardess to give me a drink!
The Blonde: Try getting a blanket and pillow! I thankfully would never run into this problem, as my children make themselves known the minute they step on board any plane. All the, “Please be quiets” make this a non-issue for me. ANYWAY, it’s interesting how Jodi likes to pick movies that scare her audience! I found that my emotions were all over the map throughout the film. I felt ANGER, though, MOST of the time! Mav, speaking of anger, did you see Phil Donahue on O’Reilly’s show? Phil BASHED O’Reil’y like a piñata! LOVED IT… LOVED IT! Sorry readers, but I truly dislike O’REILLY. Not only is he completely arrogant, but he never lets anyone speak, and Donahue didn’t allow him to cut him off! YOU GO, PHIL!

The Maven: I AGREE! O’Reilly is so over the top now. His opponents won’t want to appear on his show if he continues to be so abusive! It’s a shame. I used to be a fan! Now, he just bores me. BLONDE, I do have an “I TOLD YOU SO” to make, though. Saturday night in L.A., Ashton and Demi got married.
The Blonde: What’s going on? Look at all the weddings we have been snubbed from. First, it was Trump’s wedding, than Kenny and Zellweger, then Ben and Jen. What next, Tom and Katie and Angelina and Brad won’t invite us either? THIS IS MOST DISTURBING!

 The Maven: WELL BLONDE, maybe if you stop attending all of the Hollywood wedding bashes wearing YOUR various wedding gowns and tiaras we would be back on the ‘invite list’!
The Blonde: WELL, EXCUSE ME!  If you paid all that money for those gowns, you would find it economical to wear them more than once too. In addition, ya gotta is such a good look for me!
The Maven: How about wearing them on Halloween or a Mardi Gras party? I would not mind so much, but why is it always me tagging behind you all night carrying your eight-foot train…
The Blonde: BECAUSE YOU ARE GOOD AT IT? SOOOO, do ya think Oprah will ever tie the knot with Stedman? Boy, that was a BIG mess she got herself in with the Hermes Paris store. I love ya, Oprah! You know I do, but hon, CLOSING MEANS CLOSING, EVEN IN FRANCE, NO MATTER HOW FAMOUS YOU ARE! The purse she wanted was really cute, though!
The Maven: What I don’t get is if I were in Paris, I wouldn't be shopping at night! I mean, this is the most romantic city in the world.
The Blonde: I will give her kudos, though. She did give $10 million to the hurricane victims, and I like that! Mav, did you know that Britney Spears, with all her money, only gave $200,000, and she is a native in that area of the U.S.?
The Maven: No, but what I find even more interesting is that after all this gabbing, you haven’t brought up the Dianne Sawyer interview with Barbra!
The Blonde: It was like ‘butta! I adore her and I forever will. The interview wasn’t long enough for me. I needed another 30 minutes, at least.
The Maven: Meanwhile, let’s get back to the film…I think what makes the movie work best is that it plays to our post 9-11 paranoia—the fear of flying in general, racial profiling, and de-icing the plane before take off are all scary issues. The recent news coverage of the JetBlue landing gear incident a few days ago brought the issue home even more.
The Blonde: Totally!  I also want to comment how marvelous the music, sound effects and editing all were. Due to the style and content of the film, all these played crucial and important roles to making this film come together. They were so well done with unique excellence!  Moving along, Mav do you think that Warren Beatty will run for Governor of California and if he does, do you think he could win against, “I’ll be back” Arnold?
The Maven: Perhaps, but he needs to keep his sister Shirley MacLaine out of it!
The Blonde: Perhaps she will be too busy finding another one of her past lives to get involved! “OOOOOOMMMMMM”!
The Maven: This film had me on the edge of my seat. It was a tense and emotional ride which should appeal to men and woman alike. There is some violence, lots of action and a very clear ending, even though it did come too soon. I rate this film a B for building great tension.
The Blonde: If you are in the market for a suspenseful, good time, then this is your best bet. No matter what your age, it WILL indeed keep your interest for two hours. I, too, would have liked to see the final ending not come about so abruptly. However, just like the Maven, I rate Flightplan a B as well. This is amazing for us to agree on our ratings the last few movies! For your movie snacks, get a bunch of those tiny, little, almost nothing in them, PLANE peanuts bags. Go ahead and sneak in some of those tiny airplane liquor bottles as well. Just kidding, go with the popcorn and soda here!
The Blonde and the Maven: Watch for Zorro, starring the sexiest man in films, coming soon!
P.S.: Another movie recommendation in theaters now is Proof. This is an intelligent, fascinating and emotionally moving film. We enjoyed it immensely and loved the way it explored issues of sanity and trust. Gwyneth Paltrow was brilliant as was (and always is) Sir Anthony Hopkins. Definitely see it, but don’t expect high tension and suspense. You should expect complex relationship issues and a very good story. See you at the movies!

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