A couple of my theatre friends are performing in an upcoming adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper so I guess I’ve been thinking about that short story a lot.
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?
This movie is a mess.
Seriously. It is an ugly looking, confusingly paced, poorly acted thing that follows a script which lurches drunkenly between the incomprehensible and the banal. It is confused and focusless, any scene with more than a couple of characters turns into an exercise in geographic confusion, something of an achievement considering how small and empty so many of these locations are. It has the worst budget CGI sequences, which usually are excusable in indie films (the folks don’t have much money) but here they are disasterously conceived and feel so unneccessary. And, while I appreciate its intention in being a tonally diverse genre mashup, it does not have a strong enough control of either tone or genre to ever feel like a cohesive whole.
I guess after 45 Years Andrew Haigh could pretty much take on any project that he liked. It seems fitting that he’d reach for a story taking place at the other end of life. Of all the ages that the young protagonist of Lean on Pete gives the youngest is fifteen. I think that’s the one that we’re supposed to believe, it’s the one that he gives when he has the least to prove, when the cruelties of the world have finally ground him down enough to be honest with those around him. I guess it is just a reminder that pain can be keenly felt whatever age you are.
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.
Here’s what I’m gonna say. The Room is a godawful movie, it deserves its reputation as one of the best of the worst. But I think in it its own muddled incompetent way it speaks to the absurdity of life, the mostly millennial aged fans of the joint are the ones who have grown into adulthood in a world that has lost its form.
If there be one thing The Florida Project keeps conspicuously absent from its frames, it is Disney. The film is set on the fringes of Disney World Florida in the underserved, underassisted world of the long term American poor.