Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. All is Lost - I didn't really know what to expect with this movie; the only thing I was aware of was that Robert Redford gives an amazing performance while being stuck on a boat. I read an article that compared it to Gravity (I don't remember where...sorry), which peaked my interest because I enjoy stories about loneliness and survival. Redford is good (as he always is), I'm not sure it is award-worthy (especially this year), so I don't agree that he was "snubbed". I wasn't expecting the film to have no dialogue - I think there are maybe a few sentences in the beginning. For me, it was hard to pay attention to because of this. If I were in this situation, I know I would talk to myself. I think that is why people are giving Redford so much credit; conveying things without dialogue is tough. However, I think we understand what he is thinking due to the external elements he is facing not because of his performance. There is nothing internal about his performance - we know very little about him and that is problematic for me. I still liked it though. It felt claustrophobic, watching this man battle against nature is certainly intense, and I loved the way it ended.

2. Adore - This movie is incredibly fucking ridiculous, yet I couldn't look away. Some thoughts while watching it: 1. It's really icky. The age difference between these people is already taboo (but is love. As long as everyone is a consenting adult, I can't judge), however, dating your best friends son? Someone that you've watched grow up? I consider my best friend part of my family (and these women seem extremely close), so it's a bit incestuous. Also, it could potentially end very badly, which would hurt everyone. Would someone take the chance of ruining a friendship just because they can't control their hormones? (I already know that answer to this) 2. Sorry to be superficial for a second, but the guys in this movie are not hot at all (and yes, they are definitely supposed to be). Even worse, they are both really bland. I need a personality; any personality will do. Give us a reason as to why these incredibly gorgeous women (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright) are attracted to them. 4. Why all of the not-so-subtle anti-gay comments? 3. I want to live where they live. So fucking beautiful.

3. Touchy Feely - Great cast but unfortunately a really unmemorable movie. The story is of a "free spirit" massage therapist, who suddenly loses her "touch", while her brother, who is more of a conventional man, begins to let go and he finds success. The movie touches on a persons energy and how that energy can have an effect on your life and others around you. I do believe in some of this stuff to an extent - I practice yoga to clear my mind and release stress (and it helps my back tremendously - more so than any pain medicine ever could). I try my best to surround myself with "positive energy" and force myself into positive thinking, but this can only take you so far. The movie has some interesting elements, but it all feels a bit pointless. In the end, it's just a waste of talent - Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney and Ellen Page are much better than this movie.

4. Carrie - The remake (or "re-imagining of the novel", as it was advertised to avoid the original comparisons - sorry, everyone, if there is already a movie based on it and you create another one - it's a remake.) is satisfying in almost every way, yet it doesn't have the impact that the original film had. I don't hate on remakes as much as most film people do, but I do believe that the only way it works is if it is relevant. I love everyone involved (Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer and director Kimberly Peirce), so I had an extremely open mind for this version. Plus, I haven't seen the original in well over 15 years, and I think I read the book even before that. Carrie is a relevant story for today; kids getting bullied in school has gotten significantly worse since the first film was made (and since the novel was published), so I thought a modern take could work. The problem is that you need to actually "modernize" the story and this film did not do that. How does Carrie live in present day and be so innocent to life? She lives in a suburban town, surrounded by people her own age and I assume technology (maybe not at home, but certainly at school). Sure, her mother is a religious psychopath, but how did Carrie survive up until this point? Also, as much as I love Chloe Grace Moretz, I think she was very weak in this. I was still entertained on a basic level, and the ending is over-the-top fantastic.

5. Enough Said - Really sweet movie. It's odd that it's the second movie I watched in a week about a massage therapist; it's not really a profession that is portrayed on film too often. It's also odd, to me, that women confess their whole life to their masseuse, hair-stylist, manicurist etc (I wouldn't know....seems like a waste of money to me), but I know my mother tells her whole life story to her hair-stylist, so I guess it's realistic. I love the beginning of this relationship between the main characters. She's not instantly attracted to him, but falls for his sweet personality; that's much more true to life than love at first sight. I was never really a fan of Julia Louis-Dreyfus until recently - I am not a fan of Seinfeld at all (and yes, I've seen most episodes, not by my choice). She was certainly the best part of the show, but I never really gave her a chance to impress me. She impresses me here. She's really natural and funny, but there is also an undeniable sadness to this role (the line where she says "I'm tired of being funny" made my heart hurt. It's most definitely commentary on how women are routinely judged.). Even though she is 20 years older than me, I can relate to all of the "middle-aged" talk (I always feel much older than I actually am). Catherine Keener and Toni Collette steal every scene they are in, but James Gandolfini is absolutely brilliant. This movie is proof that he had so much more to give to the acting world and it's devastating that we won't be able to witness it. Overall, I was extremely entertained from beginning to end and I think that is quite successful, considering the story is a very basic romantic comedy set-up.


  1. I'm watching All is Lost tonight, have quite high hopes as I loved JC Chandor's debut film Margin Call. Adore was a strange film I thought, dont think it entirely knew what to do once they did hookup. Touchy Feely isn't out in the UK till next month but was looking forward to it!

    1. Cool! Let me know what you think! I loved Margin Call, as well.