This is totally not as fun as buying stuff, but you know? I can’t REMEMBER the last time I stayed still long enough to watch ONE movie, much less several in a row. Even I was impressed.
You know that episode of Friends where they realize they’ve been throwing a ball without stopping, and then it becomes A Thing? Like, they would forgo eating so that the game wouldn’t be stopped? Yes. That’s very much how I was about the ending of the second movie, when I realized that HOLY SHIT, I JUST WATCHED TWO MOVIES IN A ROW. MUST CONTINUE.
So most of these are old and y’all have already seen them, but. Here.
While this was, hands down, my favorite movie of the day, I do have a caveat about a later movie that makes me wonder if it was actually the best movie I watched. So, full disclosure: I didn’t get the Ryan Gosling thing. I just didn’t. I thought, Okay, pretty face, probably as much fun to watch as Channing Tatum. Which is to say: none at all unless he’s only semi-clothed, and even THAT can get old. But then Dude lent me Crazy Stupid Love and I was like, WHOAAA. THIS KID CAN ACTUALLY ACT.
And he was AMAZING in this movie. I had to text an old friend of mine and tell him that HEY, YOU REMIND ME OF RYAN GOSLING IN DRIVE EXCEPT YOU TALK MORE and he admitted that he had a man crush on him too and that was “high praise”. (I put that in quotes not because he said it, because he didn’t, but because in my house, we say that as an homage to Andy Samburg’s Nicholas Cage impression. We .. are diverse and complicated.) Anyway, I so ADORED Ryan Gosling in this movie and he was totally believable in the beginning and in the middle which is quite the feat because the two are almost disconnected entirely. I just .. the music was great, the cinematography was amazing, IT WAS GORY AS HELL (5 stars!), and my Lord. That boy can ACT. Also, having dated a street racer for a bit of my youth, I thought the racing in this movie was SICK.
(Also, I spent a good chunk of time coveting Carey Mulligan’s hair and debating cutting mine off again.)
(Also, I spent a lot of the movie trying to convince myself that it wasn’t Marlin from Finding Nemo that was a bad guy.)
I am a person who tends to internalize things that touch me, and as such, people tend to warn me about what movies I should and shouldn’t see. Shouldn’t See: Pretty Much Anything Pixar. Because I will fall into a deep depression. I SHIT YOU NOT, I WAS INCONSOLABLE FOR A WEEK AFTER MONSTERS, INC. And that was when it first came out and of COURSE Tony went through a phase where it was all Sully, all the time, and I STILL WEEP AND SOB AT THE END.
Melancholia was never mentioned to me as a Shouldn’t See. So, I figured I was in the clear.
Also, I kind of despise Kirsten Dunst. Like, a lot. So I figured I’d hate the movie because she was in it and then I’d ignore the rest of the movie and maybe hopefully fall asleep.
Not only did I not fall asleep, The Ugly Cry made a grand appearance.
Days later, I’m STILL thinking about this movie. A lot. It’s kind of consuming me, which is WHY SOMEONE SHOULD’VE WARNED ME. Melancholia was written and directed by Lars von Trier, which might mean something to some of you, but all I remembered was his weird Hitler comments at some film festival while promoting this film. He wrote this piece as a tribute to his bouts with depression, and anyone who has ever had any fling with depression .. why I said “fling”, like it’s a happy memory, I don’t know, but go with me here .. should find a strong resonance with this movie.
I hate to go into the plot to entirely much because it’s much better if go in a little blind, but the movie feels long, but not draggy. You feel overwhelmed, but not able to give up. You’ll cry, you’ll smile, and you’ll get distracted. In short, he’s put to film what depression feels like. You’ll see so many echoes of it in there. It’s actually quite astounding.
And it’s gorgeous. A lush setting, with AMAZING, GORGEOUS special effects that are both poetic and dynamic and ultimately tragic based on the plotline. You’ll kind of have no idea what the hell you’re watching, feeling confused and angry that no one is helping you understand, and then it will be over.
I will tell you – AGAIN – that this was a hard movie for a mom to watch. But man. What a mental roller coaster.
I’m not sure how I ended up watching Following; I think it was a kind of Netflixy rabbit hole that I fell into. Christopher Nolan made his full-length debut with this weird mocumentary drama thingie, which takes a strong influence from David Lynch. But I actually really enjoyed it; you can see his early talents for camera angles and shadows taking root.
It follows a writer turned voyeur who stumbles upon a burglar in a cafe, and then accompanies him on several robberies. Of course, there’s a million plot twists, but it was short and quick and once you got used to the accents (they have heavy, HEAVY english accents), it kind of moved on its own. Clearly not his best work, but very cool to watch.
I was so stoked to see this available on Amazon Prime, because it’s one of those movies that Bryan would never want to watch. HUZZAH TO THE LONE WOLF! Aaaaaaand .. I hated it.
I didn’t hate ALL of it, but it felt very contrived. And self-pitying. And never resolved anything. It’s written by Diablo Cody, which made me hope for snappy dialogue and a sharp glance into the mentality of a Success Story Who Goes Home Again, but it wasn’t sharp or witty or snappy. It just felt .. I don’t know.
Charlize Theron plays a ghost writer who pens a young adult series (very Sweet Valley High-ish), proud that she’s left her small town behind for the big city of Minneapolis. (I got so excited because when they first showed the skyline, I thought, Man, that looks like Minneapolis, but Sarah, that’s the only big city you’ve ever been to, so OF COURSE it does, Country Mouse. Ha, take THAT, self conscious!) She finds out, via email, that her high school boyfriend has had a baby, so she does the next plausible thing and returns home to win him back.
Patton Oswalt was the only thing even SLIGHTLY redeeming about this film and even he is kept at an arm’s length from making something real. Also, I’m not sure that I liked him being played as “the hate crime guy”, although they tried to drive the seriousness home later – to no avail, because like I said, there is no resolution. Overall, I just kind of wish Charlize’s character bit it HARD toward the end. Also, I wish someone would’ve taken away her dog, because that’s ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT. SHE LEFT THAT POOR DOG ALONE 99% OF THE TIME. IN A HOTEL ROOM.
Okay, I still have one night left: what should I watch next?