Literally one of the first scenes in On the Basis of Sex is a love scene — as though the film wants to remind you that the octogenerian Supreme Court judge fucks. It’s got an odd structure: spending ten minutes profiling her time at Harvard Law School, ten hunting for jobs in New York, and the rest on the tax law case she takes on while a professor — her first as a future women’s rights attorney.
I worked in a call centre for several years. So when, in the very first scene of this movie there’s this archly framed shot of Lakeith Stanfield’s hero in front of a noticeboard on which the contextless word ‘You’ is prominently displayed — I felt that. As he begs for a job with his fraudulent credentials across from the desk of some pasty old dude who is over-friendly and a little lascivious you’re firmly established in the realm of a workplace comedy. There’s echoes early on of Mike Judge’s Office Space, though we can tell that Boots Riley approaches the environment with a more easily apparent political bent.
There’s this dichotomy to Stanley Tucci’s filmmaking. People cast him because he can be the most charming person alive. Like, all he has to do is appear on screen and I’ll be totally on board with whatever he’s doing. Even when Peter Jackson is being the most manipulative and overt a filmmaker has ever gotten in casting the man as a paedophile: gives him that combover, the creepy moustache, it all chafes against the fact that, well, it’s Stanley Tucci. It’s a fine performance, I’m not blaming him for that flick.
Take how fast and kinetic you imagine Free Fire to be and then half it, and maybe half it again once you’ve done that. Despite being a film about witty gangsters and their high level arms deal, the film is shockingly dedicated to the reality of their incompetence. Seems to take place about an average… Continue reading Free Fire: A competent film about incompetent people