Can we all be done now with Sam Claflin as a romantic lead? Like he doesn’t fit the part well, I get that he’s handsome but it really ain’t worth it. We’re wasting his talents in these roles that the man is so clearly unsuited to. It runs through every measure of his being, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen the man genuinely smile in a movie. He always lets this little smirk play across his lips like he’s oh so much smarter than you, like there’s something funny in his head that he ain’t sharing.
Tag, the film about a group of adults who keep their childhood friendship alive by continuing to play the same childhood game long past everyone else stopped, has a lot to say about the game. We get scenes of strategizing, complex plans being sprung into action, countermeasures being sprung. Our characters explain to us the logistics of keeping the tradition going, and the improbable scheduling that allows them to hang onto it while maintaining mostly functional lives.
You know, it feels like a pretty rum time to put this flick out. It comes hard to buy the grim premonitions that the most valuable cargo that the cartels are smuggling across the border is refugees. With what how it doesn’t really square with what’s happening in America right now. Describing this film’s opening scenes is perhaps the most instructive way to proceed right now.
Here’s the thing about Steven Soderbergh, the director of this decade’s Ocean’s 11-13. He’s not a very cool filmmaker. Sure, his films are cool, and as he’s grown they’ve only become more effortlessly so. But the way he approaches them is like watching a masterclass in restraint. He is interested in the primacy of the story, everything must flow out of that. And if the story is cool, that’s great, you follow the story and the characters’ truths and piece by piece the cool will make itself.
There’s a lot of grief in Hereditary and none of its characters know where to put it. It opens on the funeral of this family’s matriarchal grandmother. Toni Collette’s Annie struggles through her speech at the alter, trying to reconcile her mother’s abusive personality with the weight of her loss. Like, when the feelings that you feel don’t fit neatly into sadness where do they go?
It must be hard being extraordinary. It’s like once the world has singled you out as being so, there’s no escaping it. All of a sudden your hours are not yours, your living becomes an act of public service. I guess everyone deals with it in their own way. It seems easier the more populist your appeal is, at least then people become more accepting of the ways that you choose to cope with it all. So long as you don’t go too hard in the public eye, you’re allowed.