A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Day: January 7th, Movie: 7

Steven Spielberg directed a movie that had been handed him by Stanley Kubrick, who had owned the rights for a few years, but was unable to get the film produced. After Kubrick’s death, Spielberg was finally able to direct A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Starring Haley Joel Osment, fresh off his Academy Award nominated performance in The Sixth Sense, A.I. Artificial Intelligence was filled with some beautiful imagery and amazing shots. The special effects of the movie were amazing, providing the setting/background for Haley Joel Osment to do this work.

Osment brought an excellent performance as David, a robot created as a young boy who could feel love- something that was not done before. As a trial run, David was given to a husband and wife whose son was in a terrible accident and had been comatose for five years. Monica (Frances O’Connor) and Henry (Sam Robards) were uncertain about David, but eventually, Monica came to accept the young Mecha. She imprinted herself on David, a process that she was warned could not be broken and, if something bad would happen, would require David to be returned and destroyed.

After the imprinting, Henry came to his wife with the news that their injured son, Martin (Jake Thomas) had awoken and was coming home. Martin began to feel jealousy over David and started plotting against him. In the end, after David unintentionally nearly drowns Martin, Monica knew that David could not stay with them. However, she could not take him back to be destroyed wither, so instead, she took him and dropped David in the woods, deserting him.

David went on a quest in an attempt to find The Blue Fairy, from his favorite movie Pinocchio, trying to be made into a real boy.

I did not like much of the beginning of this movie. I found Monica to be a terrible mother and Henry did not even try to bond with David. Dumping him in the woods like a stray dog was such a cowardly thing to do, I had a real hard time hoping that David could get his wish and find his way back to Monica as a real boy. I also did not find Frances O’Connor’s performance to be very well done. I did not believe much of anything she did early in the movie and she seemed to be obviously acting. I did not enjoy her performance much.

When David met up with Jude Law, who played Joe, a gigolo robot whose job was to please women, the film took a turn into the world of creepiness. I felt a little uncomfortable with the material that Haley Joel Osment was acting around and, though Jude Law was charming in this role, he felt like nothing more than a suave Scarecrow (from the Wizard of Oz). I am not sure what his purpose was outside of just getting David where he needed to go and to creep me out.

The ending 20-30 minutes felt added on, though apparently it was not. None of the ending of the film felt earned and did not have much of any narrative structure to the film.

While it did have its moments, I was disappointed overall with A.I. Artificial Intelligence. It had plenty of themes, but none of them seemed to be developed over the course of the film. Haley Joel Osment was excellent again and the look of the film was lovely, but after that, I did not like the story, the other characters or the finale. It was a true disappointment.

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