The twist at the end of Tully comes pretty much as expected for anyone familiar with Diablo Cody’s body of work, it plays right her preoccupations as a creator. You know how people enjoy dismissing artists work by pointing out the themes that they enjoy exploring, reciting the trivia list of their IMDb page as though that amounts to substantive criticism. Whatever, Cody’s writing has always been intergenerational, the interesting part of her evolution is in where she chooses to lay the focus.
I guess if this were being produced a decade ago, you’d expect a comedy about a group of parents trying to stop their teenage girls from getting laid would be gross. Not in a normal sex comedy way but in a weird patriarchal way. I’m trying now to think about what else was going on a decade ago but female led comedies never really found their place in the Apatow family until Bridesmaids. Even then there’s a level of security that comes from Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer all being grown adults. Like we can trust them to not embarrass themselves because their messiness comes from a place of security.
I think You Were Never Really Here kinda holds up even better on the rewatch. Not to say that the first time viewing is bad in any way, but a mid-production budget cut the necessitated the excision of some fifteen pages of screenplay means that the sense of this adaptation is pushed within an inch of its life. There’s a late game revelation of the real villain of the piece that comes out sorta clunkily, split between some murmured exposition and an incredibly manipulative edit that the film has to then snap freeze for five minutes to allow some tone drama to play out.
There’s mess in the life of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. Nothing quite adds up for her in the way it’s supposed to, or maybe she’s just getting the sums wrong. It’s telling in a way that the character is bad at maths and you ever really find out what she’s good at. Aside from making a scene, or trying to be about as alive as she can be in any given moment. Her impulses rarely serve her well but they’re hers.
This might properly hit harder for me if I had seen the other two movies. I don’t even know if acapella was even in in 2011. It must have been probably, these movies made bank.
This is one distractingly made film. I ain’t sure why it turned out that way, the creatives have a fair deal of prestige behind them. At the very least they’ve been able to make things look convincing in the past.
I’ve been saying a lot recently that the past few months have been a context killer for movies, but then that’s always a more extreme version of what I been saying ever since Donny got elected. All of a sudden our good intentions count for nothing because they’re being projected into a reality where they ain’t good enough no more. I’m sure that Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are good people, and they made a film which comes down on the right side, but it is so bland and inoffensive as to be literally nothing.
I had a tutor in university who was a total cunt. Like irredeemable, one of the worst people you could ever meet. Like a total self-absorbed bastard, the sort whose lectures take rough and wild swings into total self-aggrandisement when you’re just trying to get your learning done.
Most Beautiful Island starts promising. About the experience of undocumented immigrants in New York Ciy, it’s a bunch of long lens shots of these women walking about. Picked out of the public, these shots hold for an uncomfortable time, only due to their lengths do you manage to discern the subject. There is this uncanny feeling of predation, the city about to swallow these people up. Or maybe, topically over the past year, the fear of those ICE squads that may come at you if you have a foreign sounding accent, the fear of being undocumented in Trump’s America.
I suppose we all have our gets. It don’t really matter how saccharine or whitewashy or manipulative queer historical fiction gets, I will always be onboard.