I just caught the last hour or so of Bridget Jones #2 on the teeve, a movie so undistinguished I couldn't remember whether I'd seen it before or not, but I did enjoy the sight of Hugh Grant and Colin Firth having a refreshingly messy, non-macho, sub-Queensberry set-to in a London fountain (I love it that the Hugh Grant character fights like a demented schoolgirl -- kicking, clawing, pulling hair and running away).
Now this is seriously mediocre film, but it reminded me that the thing I love movies for is the actors. The more things you've seen someone in, the more a sort of palimpsest effect builds up and provides a subtext that the director, if she or he is smart, will take advantage of but will know is ultimately beyond his or her control.
Thus, refreshingly, just enough but not too much was made of the fact that Colin Firth was reprising his clingy wet white shirt, here half hidden under a suit. I enjoyed this all the more because the wet white shirt was referenced much more obviously in Mamma Mia, which I saw a few weeks ago and was of course made only recently. I love it that the chronology of these layered reference points in an actor's career gets all mixed up, especially in the eyes of the movie-watcher as one gets older and watches more re-runs, and that Colin Firth has enough of a sense of humour to go with it.
The other joy in that movie is watching Renee Zellwegger and remembering what she was like in Cold Mountain, which I thought was one of those magical performances when actors go right outside themselves and do something uncanny that makes you shiver a bit. It's for this reason I plan to sit through The Dark Night, which mostly doesn't interest me a bit*, so I can watch Heath Ledger put in what looks like the same order of spooky transcendent performance, and map it onto what I remember of him in Brokeback Mountain.
*As you can see, it interests me so little I can't even get the title right.