The Judge is on its way out of the movie theaters but it’s worth a comment or two. Robert Downey, Jr., as usual, is a study for facial expressions. In each scene, he goes through several emotions, anger, determination, frustration, surprise, and more. If the sound track was turned off, the viewer could figure out the script by watching Downey, Jr.’s face and actions.
Robert Duvall at eighty-three years old, plays Downey Jr.’s father with his usual transformational style in which he totally inhabits the character of the aging judge. The on-going conflicts between the two are intense and believable.
As writers, a good exercise would be to watch the movie if you haven’t already and then watch it a second time with paper, pencil, and the remote. Stop the movie when Downey, Jr. or Duvall have a moment when their expressions tell all. Jot down how their faces look and what their mannerisms show without speaking.
When a work in progress slows way, way down as mine did today while I tried several ways to express Jill’s actions, expressions and thoughts, a notebook of descriptions after watching The Judge would be helpful. In my novel, Norman remembers an agonizing fight with Arctarius, Jill empathetically feels his pain, and all I could do was type and delete, type and delete. Maybe my muse learned something from the movie tonight and will help me out with the same page tomorrow.