I feel like it should go without saying but HELLA SPOILERS BELOW.
BRIDGET JONES'S BABY
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
LA LA LAND
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
SECRET LIFE OF PETS
To ensure that Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) grows into a decent man, Dorothea enlists the help of her tenant Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Jamie’s close friend Julie (Elle Fanning) to help steer him. They ask, well don’t you need a man to raise a man? Dorothea thinks on it and responds, “Well no…I don’t think so” in a line that I think makes the women in every audience applaud. So Abbie teaches Jamie about feminism and the punk scene, taking him out partying at night with people like at least 10 years older than him. He also learns to provide moral support at her doctor’s appointments; she is in remission from cervical cancer. To me, that was the most effective aspect of ensuring he wouldn’t be a total dick, in hand with the way-beyond-his-years treatises on the feminist movement that Abbie had him read. And they dissect The Raincoats, which is cool because members of The Raincoats were sitting near me when I saw it. Abbie also is responsible for probably the most notorious scene in the movie – when Dorothea has a big dinner party and Abbie talks about how ridiculous it is for men, and women, to be scared of discussion about menstruation. So she makes everyone shout ‘menstruation’ a few times so they stop being uncomfortable with it. After my screening of the movie, there was a Q&A with Annette Bening and she made the audience do this. She is a queen.
Julie, on the other hand, has a more complicated relationship with Jamie. Jamie’s in love with her, as 15-year-old boys usually are with their 17-year-old female friends. Julie’s love for him is solely in friendship. She has already had so many (too many) awful sexual relationships with other boys, and so she treasures having a decent male in her life that actually cares about her and she doesn’t want to ruin it. It’s hard for both of them to understand, especially as Julie pushes the boundaries of what would be considered friendship, but Elle does a great job conveying how damaged and complex Julie is.
All of the characters in the movie are interesting, even Billy Crudup’s laid back tenant William. The film’s main focus seems to be making them layered, intractable at times and admirable at others. It’s really surprising that a man is responsible for it. Nothing is straightforward about the women, but it’s all real. Dorothea seems super liberal and presents herself as a free spirit, maybe a hippie, but then she is opposed to feminism as a movement, which is very hard to understand, since she is clearly living as a feminist. But she also seems to be holding onto a fading way of life, and maybe it’s a way for her to avoid change. Her big sprawling old house, home to her, Jamie, Abbie, and William, is forever unfinished and under construction, and maybe with the world changing so drastically politically too, there was just so much she could admit she didn’t have a handle on. Julie, the daughter of a psychologist, tries to analyze everyone in her life and tends to use that knowledge to obviously make herself seem wise beyond her years, but it really shows how little she is in tune with herself. And Abbie seems incredibly tough, considering what she has been through, and strong in her feminist ideals, but struggles in trying to reconcile that with her fear that having children, something she can’t do, is the best or most important part of being female. And Jamie maybe is the most complicated of all, or at least in the most notoriously hard part of growing up. At times he is a poster child for not having children, and at other times he seems like he may indeed be one of the good ones. He makes a lot of bad decisions but nothing that out of the ordinary for teenagers. And Lucas brings a warmth to his immaturity that it makes you want him to turn out okay and have faith that he does.
Although there is no big dramatic plot, the film never loses your attention or interest in what the characters are going through. It successfully makes this group of people feel genuine and reflective of society. And the cinematography is precise and perfect for the time period. Everything looks like it’s covered with a thin layer of dust from driving around in nonstop sunshine and dry weather and cigarettes. It all has that feel of slightly burnt edges. And the script is as engaging as it gets, with witty dialogue that’s honest and smart without calling attention to it. Annette’s portrayal of Dorothea really is fantastic. She is so subtle and controlled, making the smallest of lines incredible with her reading. It’s a shame she wasn’t nominated and that this movie didn’t get more attention.
Amy Adams plays a leading linguist who is hired by the government to communicate with aliens that have landed in 12 different regions of the globe. The aliens haven’t done anything yet, besides park their (super undetectable long thin floaty) arcs/arks (it works both ways! curves and ships! and so the balance shifts) in locations that don’t seem to follow any pattern or reasoning. Amy’s job is to figure out how to communicate with our visitors and find out if they’re here for violence or for friendship – mostly, find out if they are a good squid or a bad squid. Unfortunately, despite her physicist mission partner Jeremy Renner being a pretty good squid, the government officials and military men in charge are (as usual) bad squids, who keep pestering Amy about how she isn’t moving fast enough in TRYING TO LEARN AN ALIEN LANGUAGE. It’s not like it’s the sixth romance language or something you morons. It’s literally ink spills and wailing. The government/military being stupid is typical of these movies, when intelligence and patience struggle to triumph over their hurried might-is-right tendencies, but it quickly gets annoying, and then exasperating. The intensity of ignorance of those in charge may be indeed grounded in reality, but since this movie isn’t (yet) maybe we could have gone a little lighter with that touch. The Serious Man man didn’t need to be such a d-bag. Even d-bags would realize it takes time to learn to talk to GIANT SQUIDS THAT COMMUNICATE BY WAILING AND THROWING INK, and, more importantly, might sometimes defer to the expert who is actually working with said giant squids.
Aside from those annoying men, though, this movie was very well done. Amy Adams, all serene and composed, might not be the first person you think of when you think squid aliens (not to be confused with Hep aliens) and science fiction films, but her quiet and kind of timid disposition really worked for me here. Her character never seemed weak, especially given the tragedy we see her suffer in the prologue, just kind of like she tries to take up less space among the bombastic and ultimately less intelligent men. So they underestimate her, and they don’t suspect that she could not only discover the incredible but also have the gumption to handle things in her own way, without stupid military interference. Mostly, she doesn’t seem like she could be powerful and then she is stronger than all of them, but with her mind, which is way cooler.
The film was a lot more engaging and moving than I expected, mostly because it focused on communication instead of the usual explosions and gunfire you get with typical alien movies. In that regard, it felt a lot more sophisticated than I would have predicted. I also really enjoyed the surprise time bend-y premise that was completely unexpected (and should remain unspoiled) but yet seems perfectly obvious because all good sci-fi movies mess with time. On that note, the first time I saw this movie, I thought it was fine but a little drab. Somehow, the second time I saw it, I was seriously impressed by its sophistication and its subtle illumination of the time matters. So, the moral is see it twice, and be nice to aliens.
We return to Bridge’s cheeky London life (I do not find life here so cheeky but I am not as fun or as dumb as she is) more than a decade since we last saw her et al. in the horrible aforementioned sequel to the fantastic original movie. And we find her – alone. No longer with Mark Darcy! In fact, Mark Darcy is MARRIED to someone else. I literally gasped. On an airplane! Through some well-placed flashbacks, we see how life with Mark was during the intervening years, and how things came to an end. To sum up, he was a dick. A real grade A, uptight, unreasonable, insensitive, cold, unsupportive jock strap in a bag o’ dicks. Whereas, when they first began their romance, he would make his adorable amused smile at Bridge’s antics, one that seemed to say ‘Oh Bridge! You are quite silly now aren’t you”, in the important core years of their relationship he seemed always exasperated. Like, dude, just breathe and unclench! It’s good to have someone in your life who isn’t serious 100% of the time. Will help with your frown lines! Anyway so Darcy was always frowning and setting up camp in his mahogany and tweed bag o’ dicks and Bridget was trying to make him smile and of course her joie de vivre made him furious and he expressed his clear and understandable self-loathing as annoyance with the nice lady in his life that he should have been thanking every day for putting up with his impotent bullshit and that kind of relationship cannot be sustained so they fell apart. He married a nondescript “lady” while Bridget soared through the ranks to become a successful television producer. I adore that Bridget is kind of responsible for the new trend of women in pop culture who have shittastic love lives but who kick serious ass in their professional lives – like Mindy Kaling in “The Mindy Project” (great gyno), and Lorelai Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls” (great innkeeper and business lady), and Rebecca Bunch on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (legit nuts in all areas but a fantastic Ivied attorney).
Bridget goes to a kind of Coachella event which is literally my nightmare so to be forced to look upon it while on one of my flying nightmares was a lot for me to handle without screaming but I took some deep breaths and got through it. She meets a super hot and super nice and just perfect seeming man played by Patrick Dempsey, who I do not believe for one second would be at such an event for smelly people. They have a one-night stand in a tent, or at least Bridget assumes that’s what it is because a) hot man & b) that’s what they do that’s what they do, but Patrick (I don’t remember his name he’s prob just playing himself it’s all good) isn’t like that and really likes her! You expect that at some point in the movie a bad quality about him would come to light and show her how amazing Darcy was, but he just keeps getting cooler and more awesome seeming. Unforch, Bridget and a newly divorced Darcy reconnect soon after (or before it’s hard to keep a timeline when you’re getting interrupted for captain announcements) at an English countryside wedding which, having myself been to such a wedding, did not feature nearly enough fascinators. Bridget soon realizes that she is le preggers and doesn’t know if it is Darcy’s or Dempsey’s and, more importantly, doesn’t know who she’d rather have a child with. IT’S DEMPSEY, BRIDGE, IT’S DEMPSEY, not the dick that took 15 years of your life and treated you like gum stuck to his shoe. But of course it was always going to be Darcy because I guess most of the fans would have revolted? But I am pretty representative of the fan base and I would have chosen Dempsey. He was so nice. Mr Darcy is kind of a real dick. Dempsey, on the other hand, had zero negative character traits. Seriously the worst thing about him was that he turned out to be a famous billionaire. And not the dickish kind, but the kind that does a lot to help the world and give to charity and stuff. But the fandom would have erupted if Bridge didn’t end up with Darcy. Oh well, as long as Bridget’s three best friends are still around, we good.
Will Smith played an advertising executive who is obsessed with dominoes, which people try to argue is a game but as far as I have ever seen is just a way to make short-lived motion art with smooth legos. I would have enjoyed a movie that had people debating how on earth knocking over blocks in patterns can be a game played with more than one person. Will (let’s call him Will) constructs impressive domino setups instead of literally doing anything else, be it working or sleeping or eating or speaking to people who are standing right next to him and talking to him, because his 5- or 6-year-old daughter has died tragically. It’s really sad, obviously. But when a year or two passes and he continues to exist in this barely functioning catatonic state, still without speaking, his three business partners decide to force him into therapy and medical care in order for their long-time friend to get a new lease on a life that accounts for his broken heart. Oh wait! That is what non-psychotic caring people would do! Oopsy! Instead of doing literally anything else, the three business partners/supposed friends/former infatuation junkies – Kate Winslet, Ed Norton, and Michael Pena (my computer won’t make the squiggly ‘n’ I AM SORRY I DO NOT MEAN ANY DISRESPECT MICHAEL) – decide to hire a private investigator to catch Will being all cuckoo banana puffs pants so they can use that evidence to force him out of the company, leaving them to sell it and make some needed moolah or at least stop him from using his kookoopantsness to drive big clients to competitors, as was happening. Seems like you should have incorporated your business in a sensible way in the first place that might have allowed for doing things that are in the best interest of the company/shareholders without resorting to such ridiculous efforts but hey that’s your business!
So old lady private investigator – who I enjoyed; they are usually leathery wizened men – like on her first day on the job breaks into a U.S. postal service mailbox, and doesn’t get caught or go to prison because America is totes into breaking all kinds of law now and disrespecting government agencies is a sign of patriotism. OLPI (old lady private investigator) retrieves three letters that Will put in the mailbox moments ago – letters to Love, Death, and Time, in which he yells at each of them for failing him and his family and causing such unwarranted pain. (LIFE IS PAIN HIGHNESS.) Well for Love he just said like ‘goodbye, we’re done’ which is le sad! So the Three Morons (Kate, Ed, and Michael) decide to hire actors to portray the Three, um, Entities? of Love, Death, and Time and having them interact with Will in broad daylight so they can film him talking to the actors but then edit out the actors so it looks like Will is just talking to himself and being completely off his rocker. GREAT PLAN, corporate executives! Great plan.
Ed Norton tells Keira Knightley to play Love cuz she pretty, Jacob Lattimore plays Time because he’s young and tough, and Helen Mirren plays Death because she old like for the earth. They have hesitations about using their craft to destroy a man’s life when it has already been destroyed by such tragedy but then Ed says he will finance their off-off-off-Br’dway play so they are down. They each approach Will like twice in public and tell him oh I am Love/Time/Death and you wrote that awfully mean letter to me and I have something to say about it! Will is not as crazy as they think he is because he’s sane enough to initially be like, trick please, who put you up to this? But they have the letters he wrote, and he didn’t get the memo about how it’s cool now to bust open mailboxes and commit postal felonies. Even more convincingly, OLPI sets it up so that no one nearby acknowledges the actors, forcing Will to question whether maybe they are really the entities. Like, Time visits Will in his office, and then Kate Winslet walks in to ask him a question and pretends not to see the Time actor, which I mean I would be sold too because I wouldn’t suspect Kate Winslet of messing with me so hard. My favorite instance is when Helen Mirren is talking to Will on the sidewalk and OLPI walks by with a little child who she instructed to say, “Grandma why is that man talking to himself??” in Will’s earshot. So yeah I’d prob buy it too. He doesn’t necessarily believe them, but he is super freaked out, shook as the kids say nowadays, to such an extent that he tries going to a meetup group for bereaved parents run by Naomie Harris, who is really nice and lovely here and not like her character in “Moonlight”.
Each of the Three Morons works with one of the Three Actors/Entities on reviewing their interactions with Will and discussing what would work best next. Norton takes charge with Keira’s Love because he is a dawg. Keira’s first interaction with Will is her being all upset because he just wrote ‘goodbye’ and she is like ‘you can’t just say peace I’m done with you to meeee’ and he’s like ‘um I thought you were love, not stage 5 clinginess beeyotch’ well I am paraphrasing this part but that’s how I remember it so that’s how it’ll be. Keira starts therapizing Ed along the way, as he is having serious difficulties being an absent father to a spoilt little New York girl who doesn’t care that he got her Hamilton tickets instead of ever actually being a father to her because she already saw it. (You know how I feel about pop culture using Hamilton references as a way to try to get cheap laughs and/or make connections to the world. Lazy, cheap, amateur attempts at piggybacking off genius and it needs to stop.) Jacob’s Time realizes that Kate wants a baby but her eggs are drying up because she is past 40, or maybe he just guesses that that’s true because sexism, but anyway it is true and he tries to help her realize that she isn’t out of time yet on that front. Michael Pesquigglyna unfortunately has had his cancer come back, and Helen Mirren tries to get him to tell his family and get his affairs in order since it looks like he won’t be beating it this time. Around this time is when I was like OH SHIT. OHH SHIT. THEY ARE REALLY DOING THEIR ENTITY JOBS BUT FOR THE MORONS MAYBE THEY ARE NOT JOBS BUT REAL! Keira was actually helping Ed realize what love is and what it entails, and Helen was helping Michael cope with death, and Jacob was helping Kate deal with timeeee and it was so subtle and I was like HELL YEAH THIS IS AMAAAAZING. I like realizing things before you’re supposed to! Ivy league educaysh! I loved the twist with Naomie Harris; I really did not see that coming until Will went in her house and I was like, hey how did you know where she lived stalker! I cried a good deal when I realized he wasn’t a stalker.
There are two aspects I’m still meh about. One is the fact that the actors were paid even though they weren’t actors. Like, Kate Winslet gave Time/Jacob what, $20,000 in CASH in an envelope? Where did that money go, Time?! Does it go to the angel fund for new fluffier clouds? Are they even ghosts or just spirits and what is the difference? How is it okay to take so much money from the people you’re supposed to be helping! Ahhhh so much cashhh does he even need food? So that is bothering me. Next, the big scene where they explain what on earth the title means. Helen in the flashback is comforting Naomie Harris in the hospital, and she says that it’s comforting to focus not on death but on the beauty that comes with death – the collateral beauty. Like when tragedy happens and people act selflessly or lovingly and bestow kindness in the emptiness that the tragedy caused. Ummm hard pass. I guess it’s kind of like today when we say all this truly awful stuff is happening to our country and people’s lives are being destroyed but it helps to ‘look for the helpers’, all the decent people who come out to try to help? I guess it’s kind of like that? But like I rather we just had a different president. And I don’t think that people who are grieving the loss of a child are going to feel better if you’re like ‘but the nurses brought you balloonsss so nice!’
Despite all its flaws – and there were many; I am not excusing that Daniel-Palladino-level-no-nobody-is-allowed-to-edit-my-script-it-is-fine-how-it-is type of dialogue (which, by the way, was just as bad in the acclaimed “Hidden Figures”) – it really affected me with how raw its emotional development was. We are not used to seeing such unfiltered emotions presented as is, in any form, and that really was lovely. And it was an interesting premise. Sure it wasn’t executed that well, and it should have and easily could have been better, but it was not nearly as bad as all the reviewers wanted it to be.
Fences tells the story of Troy and Rose, a poor hardworking couple in 1950s Pittsburgh, trying to get through life’s bullshit with smiling faces and love, at least at the beginning. Troy collects garbage with his best friend Bono, and not the Bono saying stupid shit about Mike Pence right now but that super lovable actor Stephen Henderson, and even though I cannot ever remember all the things I know him from, I’m always happy to see him. He is wonderful in his super talky scenes with Denzel as they literally talk and talk and talk about their entire lives and everything they’ve already talked about for years with each other but they like to talk and talk about it all the time and share a bottle of gin while they stand in Troy’s little backyard. Denzel’s interaction with Viola feels so lived in and natural, and yes it’s because they already played these roles on Br’dway but also because they are phenomenal actors. Despite the first act being talkier than an episode of Gilmore Girls, it was like being in the middle of a masterclass of acting and character building. I sat there in awe.
We learn a lot about the characters from their interactions with their kids. Troy has an older son named Lyons from a previous relationship, and he comes by mostly to borrow money but he seems decent enough. He’s a musician and Troy never goes to hear him play because he thinks he should get a real job. We realize little by little that Troy is kind of a terrible and mean man. Lyons is only it in a bit but you can easily see how hurt he is when his father refuses to ever go to his jazz club. Maybe if Emma Stone went. Troy and Rose have a teenage son, Cory, with whom Troy is equally cold. Cory is a promising high school football player who has caught the eye of college recruiters, but Troy refuses to let him play. Troy was a professional baseball player, which he reminds you of frequently because he has a baseball hanging on a rope from a tree and he picks up his bat every now and then to hit it. But Troy’s dreams of translating his success as the best in the Negro Leagues to success in the Major Leagues were dashed because he aged out, although he believes it was because of his race, which is probably part of it. Because his bright future was ruined by the racism in sports, according to him at least, he forbids his son from entering that world as well and meeting similar guaranteed failure. No matter that his son is being recruited by colleges and could get a scholarship for FREE EDUCATION, no, Troy is too bitter and obstinate to see how amazing that would be for Cory. This makes me really mad. And Rose is a 1950s housewife, and though she doesn’t seem to bite her tongue, she won’t fight her husband’s word.
Troy’s relationship with his brother Gabriel helps flesh out his character more. Gabriel suffered a head injury in World War II and now is mentally impaired, with a general joviality that gets interrupted by frustrated bursts of anger. He is harassed by local kids because local kids in any locale are pieces of garbage, but he sells his fruit and plays his horn all around town every day. Gabriel’s injury netted him a paltry sum of money from the army, which Troy used to buy the house where 99% of the action occurs. We’re told Troy feels guilty about that but I don’t really think he does. He is a bastard of a person. Gabriel, btw, is played by Mykelti Williamson, who played Bubba in “Forrest Gump”, so he is the go-to actor for characters who are kind of slow and simple but also really warm and easy to root for? I’m going to stop before I get too offensive.
So the more people we see Troy interact with, the more he is revealed, at least to me, to be yet another entry into the big ol’ bag o’ dicks. He doesn’t show any warmth to his sons, and when Cory calls him out on this, asking why he never liked him, Denzel hopefully wins an Oscar with his devastating response about how it’s not his job to like his son, it’s his job to provide for him and get up and go to work every day so his son has a roof over his head and food on the table. It’s a really powerful exchange and even though Troy’s not necessarily wrong he is still being a total dick. At least he’s loving to Rose, right? He and Viola are adorable together! Well but then he gets caught having an affair with a local woman, and he has to confess to Rose not because he knows that’s the right thing to do, but because this other woman, Alberta, is pregnant with his baby. Ohhhh lordy lord, Troy. Thankfully, Viola finally lets loose with all that strength we knew she had deep down and admonishes Troy for taking her for granted and treating her so terribly when she has given him so many good years. Troy, being the bastard that he is, doesn’t apologize or ask for forgiveness – no, instead he tries to explain himself by saying how it made him happy to have sex with another woman who laughed at his really bad jokes. Duuude. Rose is standing there like what in the world are you seriously not apologizing and Troy just keeps digging and digging the hole he’s standing in, saying stupid stuff like how it’s his life and he wanted to have some good old-fashioned cheatin’ fun. Rose erupts and yells that it’s her life too, that she gave up so much to make their life together and he doesn’t appreciate that, obviously. So this is the part in the movie where Viola really cries and gets all snotty and drippy, as she does in all her projects because Viola’s snot is one of the top five actors working today, along with Meryl Streep and Viola Davis the human. She and it are amazing. I think my favorite vegan cheese in the UK, Violife, is named after her because Viola gives me liiiiife. I was so loving Rose in this scene, saying what needed to be said to Troy. It was so satisfying. They really are incredible actors.
Although Troy proved more and more to be possibly off his rocker, his final scene when he screams to the Reaper again to just try taking him was frightening and strong. I really thought he died right there, swinging his bat at his hanging ball and screaming at death (not Helen Mirren). So I am conflicted about this actual ending, because I think it would have been a much more powerful ending if it had indeed ending there, with lightning flashing and Troy screaming at death. Instead, we flash forward six years to Troy’s funeral and get to see how the family is getting on without him physically but with the marks he made on them still apparent. I wouldn’t think this coda was necessary except for the final shot, where Gabriel is pathetically playing his horn to St. Peter to open the gates for his brother and the sun breaks through. I mean, yes, that is pretty cheesy if you wanna be a jerk about it but oh my goodness how I cried. I think even though it’s less powerful to have such codas in general (it’s better to veer away from the ‘where are they now!’ b.s. with fictional characters), I approve of it here because of how moving that end was. “Fences” was pretty much what I expected, a really solid play-like production of an acting vehicle for two of the best working actors. One question – August Wilson is nominated for adapting the screenplay. He died 11 years ago. Not so much a question I guess as just I want to recognize this hard-working ghost.
It’s not a good enough movie to be nominated for Best Picture.
“Hidden Figures” is a really enjoyable movie, with great acting and actors, and overall I’d say it is solid and good. Great? No. Oscar-worthy, no. I liked it, but it was a made-for-TV movie, with its amateur direction and overall feel. I could easily have seen it on ABC Family back when ABC Family existed. The TV movie dialogue and script and direction were a disservice to the women who deserved to have their story told in a more adept and professional way. I honestly think that the studio and/or production team did not think it would do as well as it did, and so they treated it like a throwaway project that wouldn’t make any money or stick around more than a few weeks. If they had any faith in this story, I think we would have gotten a much more skilled and clever film.
Still, it was very enjoyable, with these fantastic actors and this incredible story of black women fighting every manner of adversity to help bring the first American astronauts to the moon. So few people actually know this story so it’s wonderful that these women and their contribution to NASA are finally getting their due. Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer are amazing as always, badass and strong and willful. It is a shame that Octavia is the one nominated and not Taraji in the more crowded lead actress category. Taraji is flames. Surprisingly, but not surprisingly because apparently there is nothing she can’t do including being the most beautiful person ever, singer Janelle Monae really acquitted herself well here. She was also great in “Moonlight”. She is an unfair human. Kevin Costner also does a great job of being a decent white man who doesn’t really get how privileged he is until someone lays it out for him very clearly. The scene between him and Taraji, when she has her breakdown about her bathroom being so far away, was the most powerful part of the movie and led to the second best part of the movie, when Costner destroys the segregating signs. But like you could kind of tell a white guy directed it, because Costner’s awesome efforts are really framed as heroic instead of just the decent and moral thing to do. You don’t get a hero’s greeting for evincing the bare minimum of human decency.
The amazing cast also included Mahershala Ali, whom I absolutely adore, but he should have been cut. The whole romance storyline felt unnecessary, almost like an apology to any conservatives in the audience for daring to have a movie about women being scientists, like a ‘don’t worry they still really only want a good man! here’s the romance storyline that all stories about women need even when said stories are about scientists working at NASA and you’d rather have more science stuff happening instead!’ It was a slap in the face almost. Movies about men can have it just be their professional lives but professional women still need a romance subplot. Grahhh. The movie should have been 100% Taraji doing math. Well the one part of the romance storyline I enjoyed was when Mahershala proposed at the dinner table and Taraji cried and her youngest daughter says, “Mama, are you sad?” it was adorable.
But still, this movie should have been entirely the three women doing sick math. I could have watched two whole hours of Taraji standing on that ladder at the blackboard while all the pale white men looked on in disbelief and deference. Suck it, Jim Parsons! Give one of your Emmys to Steve Carell!
This movie sucks.
I couldn’t even finish watching it, but I highly doubt the end could change my mind unless there was like a Bollywood musical number or if they worked in the Lee Harvey Oswald character from Sondheim’s “Assassins” to form a trippy diatribe about how it’s all connected and stuff I don’t know, we know how this story ends. Natalie did a really good job doing Jackie Kennedy’s voice and mannerisms? I guess? But this movie was torture. I can’t even say anything more. It was SO BORING OH MY GOD. I can’t even talk about what happened because nothing happened. He got shot, she tried to deal with it, she gives an interview later in life and talks about it but like nothing is said and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I ‘m out.
The only flaw in this is that, for a movie about Japanese folklore and culture, I think every voice actor and member of the production team was white, except for George Takei who REALLY should have been used more because he is the best. I guess that’s how racist Hollywood studio heads get to make ‘exotic’ movies about other cultures while still employing almost all white actors – to make it animated so they get away with it. Oh wait, they do that for live-action movies too! Nevermind!
I had high hopes for “La La Land”. Like really really high. I didn’t see it until February, once I’d already been exposed to months and months of HYPEEE so much hype, once it had already started sweeping pre-Oscars awards. And I added all my own hype to it, all my excitement about how it was a musical, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling again, by Damien Chazelle whose “Whiplash” is still the best edited movie I’ve ever seen, &c. I was too pumped but also aware that it probably wouldn’t live up to the sky-high bar that was set. Also it copied its promotional art/poster from “An American in Paris”, the musical that opened on Broadway a few years ago, letting me eagerly give it an early knock in the con column. I was so conflicted. I wanted to love it because hey musical, but I kind of wanted it to not live up to the hype so I could righteously bemoan the lack of love for “Moonlight” and “Lion” this season.
But then it started, and as you know it starts with that musical number. That enormous, heart-pumping, soul-buoying opener that takes over a huge section of the Los Angeles freeway during a traffic jam that sees all the drivers get out of their cars and start dancing and jumping and singing. And I smiled so hard the entire six minutes and was like oh okay I get it this is amazing. I felt like I do in the theatre when a musical I’m doubtful of opens with a perfectly executed opening number and I am so relieved and impressed and elated all at once that it makes me cry tears of joy. This came pretty close to that feeling. I adored that it was all non-famous people in this scene, no stars, just talented fresh faces flipping over cars and dancing on the freeway and singing this adorable song about how it’s always sunny in Los Angeles. Or, at least, that is what the song seemed to be about. I learned later that, despite my bellyaching above about how the sobfest of an ending came without any semblance of a warning, it turns out that this joyful opening song told us straight out what was going to happen: “Cause maybe in that sleepy town, he’ll sit one day, the lights are down, he’ll see my face and think of how he used to know me.” They told us right at the start that we were going to see a more dramatic and sadder version of Hugh Grant watching Anna Scott on the big screen thinking hey she’s somebody that I used to knowww somebodayyyy.
But until we get to that point, it’s a jolly good time. Emma Stone is in prime Emma Stone form – I mean she does always seem to play the same version of herself but when we get opportunities for her to show off her trademark goofy adorableness, like the part at the pool party where she requests the song “I Ran” and acts like Ryan Gosling is singing it to her, it’s worth it. She was hilarious in that scene, even if it felt almost out of place like it had been lifted straight from the cutting room floor of “Easy A”. Ryan Gosling was surprisingly great and funny and charming despite 99% of the time wearing his trademark I’m-slightly-amused-and-also-kind-of-surprised face. He’s not a singer like you’d expect in a musical, but his voice felt honest and full of emotion and it was really moving. I like that he didn’t have a booming musical theatre voice. I think he should be getting all the acclaim this season over Emma, or at least more than he is getting. Well he did win a Golden Globe but I mean those are nonsense. The chemistry between these two actors could be the strongest in popular duos today. They are our modern day fill in the blanks of a chemistrous acting couple. They’re like our Kathy Selden and Don Lockwood. (I almost said Draper.) I love them together. And that’s a big part of why the “500 Days of Summer”-style Expectations-vs-Reality ending (although this usage was 500 times more emotional and poignant than in “Summer”, which is saying a lot because that scene was devastating) was such a gut punch. I was hiccuppy crying and I really didn’t expect that! But Ryan’s (I honestly don’t remember their character names because it seems like they play themselves and I’m okay with it) fantasy of what their version of life together should have looked like was so, so well done that I can’t fault it for happening. I’m still upset about it but it made the story real. And maybe I would have enjoyed it more if the movie stuck to being as fantastical as its opening number was, but grounding the ending in reality and having the characters reflect the kinds of sorrows that normal people experience is what really made it shine as a film and not a cone of cotton candy or such. So I will one day get over the fact that I didn’t get to smile the entire time.
The real stunning part of this film is indeed the music. There aren’t as many actual musical numbers in it as I would have wanted or as you’d guess for something billed as a musical, maybe 4-5? But the score underpinning every scene is meticulous, and it illustrates well what’s happening emotionally and mentally for our characters. Chazelle really is a master at using music to tell his story, and Justin Horwitz’s score as manipulated by Chazelle is probably the best part of this movie. It’s a perfect match of music directed impeccably to tell the story. And the songs apart from the instrumental score are wonderful, too. City of Stars, the one that will win the Oscar, is probably my least favorite actually, but that’s just default because they are all so good. And of course they are, because they were written by one of my favorite composer teams, Pasek and Paul, who wrote two of my favorite musical theatre scores (Dogfight and Dear Evan Hansen) PLUS one of my favorite songs from Smash. I miss Smash. When Ryan plays the Emma melody again at the end, I about lost it. Of course that is what he would play at that moment, but it was just so well done and I really appreciated how well the music was used throughout the film. I would be listening to the score all day long if Lionsgate hadn’t sent a record. (No it’s really cool that they sent a record – and a record player (baller) – but I couldn’t pack that to my luggage.)
Overall, I think it was a great movie. Despite how sick it made my tumnus to have both high hopes and low expectations simultaneously, I really enjoyed it and get why people, especially people in the business (see e.g. their fawning over “The Artist” and “Argo”), are fawning over it. I also understand how people, especially in this political climate, are furious that this lilywhite movie could be crowned Best Picture. I agree that this movie should have been more diverse and shouldn’t have pinned all its excuses on the casting of our boyfriend John Legend. That’s definitely a problem. But it’s still a great movie and I’m super eager to rewatch “La La Land” when it’s on TV in the future, although I don’t know if I would, or could, watch the ending. Although the ending might be the best part. Maybe I’ll watch it in reverse?
"Lion” tells the story of the cutest little Indian boy you have ever seen in your entire life like really you cannot believe how cute he is and that he’s a real person on the same planet as you because how can that be if you are just a normal person and you’re on the same planet as the cutest little boy that has ever existed but then you remember that dogs exist and dogs are amazing and usually the cutest ever wittles you’ve ever seen so because there are dogs on this planet too you can kind of accept that this world could also have Sunny Pawar in it. Sunny plays Saroo, the cutest wittle who lives in a tiny village in India with his mother, his older brother Guddu, and his sister. They are really poor and I am guessing would be considered untouchables. Guddu and Saroo steal coal from passing trains to sell for food for their family, and when Guddu tells Saroo he plans to go away for a few days to work on a bigger job, Saroo begs to come with him. He tells him he’s strong enough and flexes for his brother but he’s like a baby and it’s so cute so Guddu, against better judgment, agrees to take him along. You know this is not going to go well, although you probably already knew that because this is based on a true story. So as expected, they get separated, and Saroo somehow ends up stuck on a train for days and days that crosses all of India and ends up thousands of miles away in Calcutta. He has no idea how to get back home, and he doesn’t even know the real name of his town or his mother’s name. And his mother doesn’t read the newspapers that eventually place ads about his predicament. And, they speak a different language in this part of the country. He is screwed. Although he does have the cutest voice you could ever imagine, like the cutest since Boo in “Monsters Inc.”, previously my favorite movie child of all time even though she is animated, his speaking is pointless since no one understands him. Poor wittle. Saroo tries to find his way alone in this scary place, fleeing from police and running away from sickos who pretend to be nice to him but have ulterior motives, on and on until finally he is placed in an orphanage. He continues to plea for people to help him find his family, but they convince him that it’s impossible, that they’ve tried everything. And so he gets adopted by Nicole Kidman and a cross between Jamie Lannister and Steve Irwin, and goes to live a completely different life in Tasmania, even though he knows his mother and brother are worried sick about him.
Sunny Pawar grows up to be Dev Patel, a decently adjusted man who is studying in Melbourne. In school, he meets the most useless part of the movie, Rooney Mara, and they date and have relaysh drama and it’s so unnecessary, but they needed a white woman in the film who wasn’t already past the age of Hollywood acceptability to help sell it. The most infuriating part of this whole shebang is not that a young kid would make a bad decision and bring his even littler brother on an ill-fated journey but that the studio thought it was okay to put Rooney Mara on the movie’s posters. She is in it a small amount, and she could have been completely cut out. But because she is white and young and attractive, she is given equal billing in the public eye as Dev Patel is. And Sunny is not on the promotional materials. I am very angry about this. Whose idea was it, huh? WAS IT HARVEY’S? In my mind I am the one who defaced these posters in the tube stations.
But anyway, man-sized Saroo decides he needs to find his family, and he turns to Google Earth at his friends’ suggestion. This movie then becomes a commercial for Google Earth but it’s okay. Saroo becomes completely consumed with his online searches, which take him literally throughout all of India so it takes months and months and months of obsessive research. Luckily Nikki K approves of his search for his family and he gets a new surge of energy from her support. When things start to click into place for Saroo and his journey back (his journey to the past? shh) happens, it’s all too much to handle and you turn into a pile of Viola-style snot. And then your situation gets worse and worse as the story unfolds and you just fall apart and stop breathing while hiccupily shouting “GUDDU!!! NOOOOOO!” and trying to tell yourself ‘it’s just a movie it’s just a movie’ for a split second before remembering oh shit no it’s not, this is a truth. And then they start showing you flashbacks to Sunny-as-Saroo’s childhood with Guddu and you are just like ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME? And it’s all so sad and so good and then just when you think you have regained your ability to see and breathe and maybe you think you will make it through this film after all without vomiting, they show footage of the REAL Saroo and both his families and then they tell you what his name meant because you have forgotten to wonder about why the movie was called Lion while you were hyperventilating for the past hour and then you just turn into an Alex Mack-style puddle of silver liquid that used to be human form because now you are just tears the end best movie of the year possibly ever.
Casey Affleck plays a man who sighs a lot and is just a full-on grumperpuss and you’re like, hey, am I supposed to like you, or hate you, or be totally ambivalent about you, and if it’s the latter which I suspect it is, why am I watching a movie about you, am I supposed to care or am I supposed to look at my phone the whole time for more interesting material? Casey then sighs and you’re like, oh it’s the latter. Casey plays a man who has suffered a great deal of tragedy in his life, like too much for any non-awful person to ever be dealt. And it’s horrifyingly awful and sad and unfair that life can give anyone this much tragedy. You’d think they could spin a better story out of that kind of material. Instead, you understand why he is such a grumper and why he can’t abide by social mores or at least act like a decent person to his nephew, but you don’t really care? It’s hard to make this character, who has suffered so much, seem like such a dick, but they succeed at it. Casey’s performance is being lauded as the best of the year, but to me it seemed like he is getting a lot of acclaim for sighing audibly like he is practicing Ujjayi breath in his Brooklyn Heights yoga class before he was able to grab his morning coffee at the shop where Ichabod the barista handpicks each bean before brewing.
Lucas Hedges, as his nephew dealing with stuff no teenager should have to deal with, does a great job nailing that teenage angst while seeming vulnerable despite his hard edges. I am glad he recovered from being shanked with lefty scissors. Despite his being a typical unlikable teenager, you really feel for his predicament, that he has no one now except this uncle who can’t move on with his life even when his nephew needs him. And you can’t really fault Casey’s character for not being able to take care of him, once you know his backstory. And that backstory is a doozy. But even so, the overall impression of this story is not like, ‘wow this really gets the human condition’ but more ‘oh, that really sucks for them. for all of them. everyone. it really sucks.” Who wants that to be the takeaway of a movie?!
Although it seems like there is a lot here that I am finding fault with, it felt like the faintest whisper of a movie. All of the dialogue, I think, is captured in the 2 minute trailers, so if you want to ‘see’ the movie without having to actually see it, watch the trailer at 20x slower speed and you will get the gist. It’s like, a sentence, then silence and visuals, then another sentence. So, the movie wasn’t actively bad because there was no real action happening. It was passive, and boring in that way. What really struck me and stuck out as the most actively bad part of the movie is the music. I have never really noticed a movie’s score except when it’s used well to augment the emotions of the scenes, but in those times it is supposed to enhance and not overpower. The music here was so bad that it took me out of the movie. The songs used had lyrics and melodies that did not fit at all and it was jarring, so much so that I was focusing on the terrible music and not the lackluster movie. Were you trying to distract me from noticing how boringly nothing the movie was?
It’s too bad that the movie was 90% Casey because the supporting cast was excellent. Kyle Chandler as his brother was wonderful and warm and even in his tiny scenes seemed like he would have been a great person. Their friend George is played by a really solid C. J Wilson, who doesn’t have any reason to be as good to them as he is. I always enjoy seeing Christina from “You’ve Got Mail” and wondering if she really did have to move to Brooklyn after the bookstore closed or if she was already priced out of it. And Michelle Williams as his ex-wife had a few scenes but she’s always good. Literally the only thing I liked about this movie was that Michelle Williams’s character was named Randi. There has never ever ever in all the pop culture I have seen been a character named Randi or Randy that wasn’t ugly, dirty, a cowboy, a dirty fat cowboy, old, gross, a bitch, a bastard, a butcher a baker a candlestick maker &c. What I’m saying is it was nice to see someone pretty with my name.
"Moonlight” tells a story in three acts about a boy named Chiron. In mythology, Chiron was a centaur who looked different from the others and who had a sort of foster father in Apollo. This isn’t very important but it shows how much subtle detail was in the film. This Chiron, a young black boy in a bad neighborhood in Miami, is meek and tiny, so they call him Little, which is the name of the first act, about his childhood. He spends his afternoons running from school to avoid the bullies who chase him on his way home. That home is a hell of a place, with his abusive crack-addicted mother played by Naomie Harris who is just on crack all the time and yells at him like it’s his fault that her shit is a mess. This poor tiny kid. He finds comfort with an adult named Juan, played by our fave Mahershala Ali, who seems to have his shit together and care about Chiron, but he’s a big-time drug dealer so like it’s not perfect. He and his girlfriend, Janelle Monae being all talented and unfair yet again, feed Chiron often and let him sleep in their nice house whenever he needs to get away from his broken and overwhelming home. So it seems really nice that he has these seemingly sane adults making sure he’s okay and teaching him to be more comfortable in his skin – but then you remember that Juan is the one selling the drugs to Chiron’s mother. So, not the best example or father figure. A fantastically distressing scene between the two adults heightens this tension. But like everything in this movie, it’s still composed and restrained. It says so much about how limited this kid’s choices are through no fault of his own, and how low his chance of making it out of this claustrophobically circular world is.
In the second act, called Chiron, we see Chiron as a teenager, still struggling with bullies in school because teenage boys in high school my god they are mean, apparently. The bullies who torment Chiron really should be in jail. And he’s still pretty scrawny. His mother is worse, not only addicted severely but also prostituting herself and stealing the money that Janelle gives to Chiron once she gets her weekly royalty checks for Tightrope best song ever. (So both Janelle and Mahershala were in both “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures”, and both were nominated for Best Picture. That is cool.) Juan has died, probably because he was a big-time drug dealer who always had a gun on him for fighting other drug dealers and that kind of situation doesn’t exactly scream longevity. Janelle still takes care of Chiron though, which is nice, and gives him the comforting advice that he needs from a mother. Chiron also has his friend Kevin from childhood, although his feelings for him now veer towards amorous. One night, they do some dirty bidness on a beach, which is directed really well, considering how awkward it is for everyone. But the very next morning at school, the worst bully forces Kevin to beat the shit out of Chiron, who refuses to stay down, making Kevin understand the full weight of what he’s doing. The most satisfying thing probably of any movie ever is when Chiron comes into school the following day and breaks a chair over the bully’s head. Oh my god it was so good. I hope that kid was wrecked.
Unfortunately, Chiron got arrested even though he should be considered a hero, and next we see him, in act three, he has followed in Juan’s footsteps and become a hard drug dealer who goes by the name Black, as does the act. It’s so interesting to see how the tiniest of decisions and life occurrences forged this path to something unexpected for us but maybe inevitable for him. Luckily, his mother is doing better and in a rehab home, sorry for how she ruined his life but like you can stuff those sorries in a sack. But good job on no more crack, crack is whack. There’s no hope with dope. Chiron, or Black, gets an unexpected call from Kevin who says he should visit him sometime if he’s ever in town. Cue Chiron driving across state lines immediately, because this was one of like two people who meant a great deal to him. Their reunion is nuanced and subtle and self-conscious and beautiful, and the whole last 30 minutes or so is captivating yet simple, like the whole movie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that felt so serene and still, even when the characters were screaming or fighting. It all still felt smooth and at a constant, stable level of unruffled tranquility. It’s a beautiful film that says so much while saying so little. I don’t really know what it’s saying but I know I liked it.
This movie was the equivalent of Russia getting Trump elected. It was that time when internet trolls who played video games decided that women had more rights than they did. It was when Richard III had his nephew arrested and executed. It was the earthquake in Italy. The one last year or the one in 1626, take your pick. It was Chernobyl. It was what the energy drink Chernobly does to your body. It was bad. It was so bad that it was offensive, and it was so offensive that it was bad.
This piece of utter awful shit, which should not be allowed to exist because it gives people who hate women and probably all humans and animals too an apparent license to be pieces of shit to women and humans and animals because such evil viewed through a lens of ‘eh it happens’, comes to us courtesy of Tom Ford, who I thought was a misogynist like 90% of men are but I didn’t realize before this movie just how much he really, really, really, really, really must despise women. If he didn’t have success as a designer I bet he would have been the head boy of Gamer Gate. This movie is the movie version of Gamer Gate but without the necessary opposition from feminist thinkers and people who aren’t idiots. The fact that it was considered for awards this season makes me literally nauseous.
This shitstorm tells the story of Amy Adams who is an art dealer or curator or maybe an artist herself and she works with weirdos as you do in the art world. She’s loaded and has a husband. None of this matters to her character; all that matters is that she has an ex-boyfriend who I THINK we are supposed to feel bad for, but who is actually the most frightening character of all last year because he represents thousands if not millions of similar men who think they are entitled to have a woman who lives her life in a way that pleases him. The most horrible part of this movie is that this kind of entitlement isn’t supposed to be a thing, I think he’s supposed to just be the nice guy who got hurt and you understand his pain. And that is what is horrifying. This ex-boyfriend is played by Jake Gyllenhaal, a writer who knew Amy Adams from childhood (I can’t be bothered with character names they need to own that they were a part of this disgusting and insulting garbage movie) but they got together after college. They did not communicate well, with Amy telling him he needed to get a job and write something that gets published, but in a way that says oh we do have to eat you know and not in a shrewish way. But ain’t no woman gonna tell a white man how to live! They drift and Amy has an abortion without informing him beforehand, because it’s her body and her decision and she also didn’t ask his permission if it was okay to cut her toenails and I bet he was really upset about that too, so he flips out on her because that’s the surefire way to convince someone that you’d be a good father and they break up. Years later, at present day with Amy and her money and her husband and her house slaves who tiptoe around her, Amy gets a manuscript in the mail from Jake. She starts reading this book, and then the story in the book is like 99% of the movie. The book story stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a husband and father, because it’s about him, with Isla Fisher as his wife because she looks exactly like Amy Adams and this casting is the only good part about this film because finally people realized that they should play twins or something, or here that they should play the book version of a person and the real version. A girl also with long red hair plays the teenage daughter. So, Jake wrote a book that is inspired by his relationship with Amy. That’s nice, right?
WRONG. The book has the family driving along a road in Texas or Texas-adjacent when they get harassed by a car of thug cowboys who are drunk and pure evil and think it’s fun to drive other cars off the road. Things get worse as Jake cannot drive fast enough to get away from them because it’s a family car. The other car full of horrible white Trump-voting men forces Jake’s car to the side of the ride and plays sick twisted unbelievably horrible psychological games with the three and I think they had a gun because of course they had a gun. I don’t really want to think about how awful this was and how terrifying but eventually they convince Isla and the daughter to drive away with half the thugs as collateral while the others take Jake away in another car because his was destroyed BY THEM and they’re like oh we will get help. Obviously they will not get help, and they drop Jake in the desert like miles and miles away and leave him to die. He doesn’t die, and he finds his way to a police station where he meets Michael Shannon who is decent enough as a cop who is trying to help this guy find his family but OF COURSE THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE OKAY. Of course the women have been raped and murdered and Jake and Michael find their bodies in a ditch naked and entwined with red hair swirling all around them because it’s supposed to be beautiful??? Because Tom Ford and everyone involved in making this movie are fucking sick in the fucking head and all decent people realize HOW UNNECESSARY ALL OF THIS IS TO PUT IN SO-CALLED ART WHEN IT HAPPENS ENOUGH IN REAL LIFE SO IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO SAY SOMETHING USEFUL ABOUT IT OR HELP STOP IT THEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? It’s like the problems I have with Law & Order SVU, about how it normalizes sexual violence and violence against women without really saying anything useful about it because the sheer volume and magnitude of the crimes they use for entertainment will always outweigh whatever thing they might say to try to end how common it is and so it just reinforces that it is common and contributes to the normalization of it as part of our society that we will never be able to end, it’s like that but 1000x worse because it doesn’t know it’s doing this and that is sad and pathetic and I feel bad for everyone involved in making this.
Jake and Michael the cop try to find the guys who did this, and they do, they find the one ringleader on a toilet he built on his front porch and then he gets angry that the two men came upon him while he’s doing his business in the great wide open like if you actually cared about privacy why did you put your toilet on your front porch my brain cannot take how stupid and awful every single part of this movie is even this tiny insignificant detail I JUST CAN’T. Michael is eventually like, screw the laws that will let this guy go because our justice system is fucked but at least we had a justice system last year, so they decide just to deal with him vigilante-style. Fine, okay, do it! But no, even in his imagination Jake is a coward, and he feels bad for the guy? That killed his family? Because this white man deserves to have a second chance even though he destroyed lives for kicks? I really lost it even more when Jake fails to kill the man that killed his family WHEN HE HAD THE SHERIFF’S PERMISSION TO DO IT, because he had an attack of the white-male conscience that says no don’t hurt other white men, we deserve to live our best lives Oprah-style even if we destroy women it’s okay. So the villain – the villain who won a Golden Globe for this bullshit – gets away and then other stuff happens but I was seeing through a fog of rage and don’t remember much until Jake happens upon him again and he shoots him but not fast enough because he is an idiot and the villain guy hits him with a shovel or something and blinds him and even though villain dies, Jake wanders blind outside and then dies too, but at least he gets to die in the sunshine?! And you think, my god this was utter garbage that has hurt the world just with its existence but at least it’s over.
BUT THEN YOU CUT BACK TO AMY READING THIS PILE OF GARBAGE and you realize with her that OH YEAH, she was supposed to be the woman and the girl was the daughter that what, she aborted? And he hates her so much that even in his fantasy world of how a life might be with a wife and daughter he HAS THEM RAPED AND MURDERED??!! BECAUSE SHE HAD AN ABORTION? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WHY ISN’T THERE ANOTHER LEVEL TO CAPS LOCK I NEED ANOTHER LEVEL TO CAPS LOCK. So this is why this is the most misogynistic trash I have ever seen, because a man decided that if a woman had an abortion without the consent of the man who impregnated her, then she deserves to be sexually assaulted and murdered and so does the fetus that could have been, or something like that. OH my goodness, I forgot to talk about the opening. The movie cold opens with one of Amy’s gallery showings, which has naked obese women dancing while dressed in circus makeup. The art installation, I will repeat, features obese women dancing on stools around a gallery while naked and made up like ghoulish clowns. So he did tell you right off the bat that women in this movie were going to be treated as objects worthy of scorn, but I don’t think it was meant to be like oh isn’t that terrible of us? I think he and everyone who greenlit this movie really do only see women as objects worthy of scorn if they do not obey men and comply with the standards of beauty, body size, action, and all other kinds of behavior in ways that men have established for them in order to be condoned in society. All of us who saw this waste of time and money and thought are worse and dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, Tom Ford, and may god have mercy on your soul.
And why are other people being mean to poor Sully! He is a g-d hero! All these stupid white corporate men are trying to blame him for SAVING PEOPLE’S LIVES instead of letting them die which would have happened if he listened to anyone but himself, but they are like well we don’t want our insurance premiums to go up blarhghhhhh. Big fat sacks of meat, all of them. Sully and Aaron Eckhart should get parades every year that are better than the Thanksgiving ones because let’s face it, those are boring and awful especially when they keep using dreadful NBC talent who aren’t even good enough for the shittastic Today Show oh my god what a mess that is. HOW DID THESE PEOPLE GET JOBS? Did you see Natalie Morales’ interview with that other woman who has a job at NBC, of Sunny Pawar, the best interview subject on the planet to land? They asked him what kind of stuff he bought for himself with his big Hollywood money and whether he liked burgers or hot dogs more and how it felt to be in a Hollywood movie when he grew up watching big Hollywood movies. UM HE NEVER SAW ONE BEFORE YOU AMBASSADORS OF IGNORANT WHITE PRIVILEGE. But I digress.
“Sully” tells the story you already know of how Captain Sulvang Solventdetergent landed a plane on the Hudson river and saved the life of everyone onboard and is a true smart hero man who deserves parades like I said. So, going into this, I was thinking that it would be boring to see a story that I already knew and torturous to see a freaking plane crash which I don’t have to tell you is my nightmare because it is everyone’s nightmare. I had no idea how they would make this a movie. But I was pleasantly surprised to see how nicely it was done. I mean I still did not need to see it, but it wasn’t bad. They begin after the fact, which I loved because I thought oh my goodness hooray we don’t have to see a plane crash! But then of course we do see every second of the actual event, just in flashbacks that are haunting the cap’n. The poor dear also is haunted by daymares of the plane actually crashing, tormenting him with endless variations of what could have gone wrong or what tiny thing he could have done differently that would have ended in disaster. So, not only do we see the actual crash, but we see lots of much worse and scarier potential crashes into NYC skyscrapers and stuff! So terrifying! Thanks Obama!
The post-heroic-action drama comes from like I said above all the idiot men who are trying to blame Sully for the damage to the plane or to the water in the river which I bet was so dirty to begin with because they are asswipes who can’t deal with the fact that they have wasted their lives doing really dumb shit and not having fun and have never been to Thailand which everyone should go to so warm. Of course, they eventually grudgingly accept that it’s okay that he decided to save hundreds of lives in the least damagey way possible instead of destroying sections of freaking New York City and killing everyone onboard plus everyone below?? These people are dumber than the Serious Man in “Arrival”. Can people in charge of stuff stop being so incompetent and stupid like ever? In any situation.
Anyway, Tom Hanks is amazing and should have been nominated. We really take him for granted and we can’t. I am betting that he is the one to save our country, I really am. He can do anything as long as he finds a suitable Godfather quote.
I guess that’s it for this year! I regret that I didn’t get to every movie but if you are bothered by that, why not figure out a way to send me screeners? I mean the freaking hosts of the “Gilmore Guys” podcast got screeners but noooo not me. Cool. That’s cool. Or send me money to see more movies in London they cost like 20 pounds which in human money is like what 1000 dollars?
Anyway tell me your thoughts and whether you agree or disagree, especially about how terrible NBC is. I’d especially like to know your thoughts on the movies I didn’t get to, especially before I get to my predictions so I can sound like I know what I’m talking about.
Tomorrow I will post my Oscars-focused thoughts and predictions so stay tuned!