Norah Jones. My Blueberry Nights. US 2007
My Blueberry Nights is a 2007 romance- drama art film directed by Wong Kar Wai, his first feature in English. The screenplay by Wong and Lawrence Block is based on a short Chinese-language film written and directed by Wong. This film was the debut of jazz singer Grammy-winner Norah Jones as an actress, and also starred Jude Law, David Strathairn, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman, and Benjamin Kanes.
My Blueberry Nights is notable not only as the first English-language film by director Wong Kar Wai but also for the acting debut of Norah Jones. It’s surprising, then, that the soundtrack only includes one song from Jones, “The Story,” the only song on the set and one that Jones has stated reflects her doubts about becoming an actress. It’s not appreciably different than anything else Jones has recorded to this point, a slow, jazzy ballad featuring her moody vocals and piano in a trio setting. As for the rest, it’s an appealing mix of R&B (Mavis Staples, Ruth Brown, Otis Redding), jazz (Cassandra Wilson), a couple of Cat Power tunes, and the ubiquitous Ry Cooder, who always makes any soundtrack worth a listen.
- Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 47% based on 123 reviews and an average score of 5.4/10.
- The site’s critical consensus reads “Though well filmed, My Blueberry Nights is a mixed bag of dedicated performers working with thin material.”
- The San Francisco Chronicle: The movie’s overall story is modest, and if it were any longer the film might start to drag. But at 90 minutes, it’s short enough to be carried along on the drama of its individual scenes and the strength of its performances .
- New York Sun: keenly displays Wong Kar Wai’s aptitude for relationship drama and showcasing the female form, but the Chinese director’s American debut often makes the earnest miscalculation of a dubbed foreign film .
Awards and nominations
- Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival
- The Best Foreign Film at the Cinema Writers Circle Awards in Spain.