Saturday, January 16, 2010

10,000,000 Points and Lemonade

Just returned from seeing this.
On the walk home I was busy formulating what this post was going to cover. And in my mind I did it in point form. So that's how it's going to be written. And it may jump all over the place from one topic to another, so try to keep up. Or just skim through. I don't mind which. Bear in mind there might be one or two alluded spoilers, so if you're planning to go see it, maybe do that first, then come back and read this.

1. George Clooney turns in one of the best performances I've seen him do. Ever. I haven't seen him this vulnerable since the early ER days. Sure he does his "coy look from under the eyebrow" thing and that funny "laugh then turn away" thing, but there are several moments when you really see into his soul and that's special.

2. The female roles in this film are every bit as important as the male roles. They're not dumbed down and they're really well cast. First up, Anna Kendrick. Fantastic. Best young actress I've seen in ages. Totally holds her own against Clooney, is cute but not too cute and nails that naïve idealism that we all have when we're just out of uni and finally begin what we think is our "career path". Not to mention she does a great karaoke of a Cyndi Lauper classic.

Vera Farmiga. Again, fantastic. Gorgeous, yet real. And playing such a beautifully layered character. I totally didn't see the twist coming until it was too late - she really made me stay in the moment with her.

It would have been so easy to for Jason Reitman to cast these two very important female roles with A-listers, but instead he chose two women who aren't made of plastic, can really act and who the females in the audience can relate to. Plus he threw Melanie Lynskey in there for good measure. She's a cracker that one. Love her. I always know when I see her name in the opening credits that there's going to be some heart in the film.

3. I implore you... stay to the very end of the credits. And listen closely. Please. It will all at once break your heart and inspire you.

4. Jason Bateman should never again do facial hair. It makes him look awful. In fact if I was his wife I'd make him have laser hair removal on his face so that he can never, ever grow it again. Not even for Movember. It almost made me love him a little bit less, and bear in mind; I've loved this man since Silver Spoons. That's nearly 28 years people... and that's a lot of love.

5. Young MC. S'all I'm saying. Young MC. GOLD.

6. I love how Jason Reitman avoided the typical Hollywood schmaltzy ending. I love how there was betrayal and hurt and suffering and it wasn't all neatly tied up in a final montage of boy-gets-girl-they-live-happily-ever-after. Because although that happens sometimes, it doesn't happen all the time and its nice to see that on the big screen. Sometimes the ends aren't all neatly tied up in a lovely bow and that's ok. In fact, that's good.

One of the quotes attributed to Jason on IMDB is:

I don't want to make films that give you the answer. If there is a message to my films - and I hope there isn't - it's to be open-minded.

This film certainly kept faithful to his wish. Listening to the people around me as the end credits were rolling (and it was a full cinema... there were lots of people talking), I was intrigued at the various reactions. Repeating them would probably spoil the ending of the film for you, so I won't, suffice it to say that there are an awful lot of people who don't appear to take risks in this world. And there's an awful lot of fear.

7. I actually experienced this pre-movie as I was waiting in the queue to go in (which, incidentally, was out the front door of the cinema... lot of people go to the movies in Yarraville on a Saturday night). There was a couple behind me who made some comment about being able to finish their drinks in the queue and have to grab another at the bar as they went past. I couldn't help but laugh and we got to chatting. The woman asked if I was alone and when I said yes, remarked how brave I was for doing that - she had never and didn't think she would ever be able to go see a movie on her own.

This astounds me. I go to the movies alone all the time. Probably two in every three movies I see, I see alone. And its never bothered me. Most people I know will see the same movie at some point anyway, and its not like theatre, which is live and unpredictable and only the people in the audience with you on that particular night are going to ever be able to discuss it properly with you. We're all seeing the same movie; we'll be able to discuss exactly the same thing. I don't have to see a movie with someone so we can talk about it afterwards. And it doesn't bother me at all going alone and standing in a queue full of couples and groups.

But this woman was in absolute awe of someone who chose to go to the cinema alone. I was in awe of her never having done it. If she can't go to the movies alone, how would she be travelling alone? She's probably never done that either. Wow. No judgement on that, but wow. What an interesting way to live your life.

8. One of the benefits of seeing a movie alone, especially when its a full cinema, is that there's often one single seat in an awesome spot. Tonight I nabbed that spot, which made the gentleman next to me (who was probably in his late 50s, early 60s?) decide that he and his companion needed to chat to me. He was very nice and in awe of the cinema as it was his first time there (it is quite a funky art deco cinema - there's the old school curtains and even an organ) and was also fascinated that I was there alone. Why does this fascinate so many people? It's not that unusual, surely?

He did try chatting to me throughout the movie, but was met with polite, but stony silence. Don't talk to me during a film Mister. Chat to me before or after, but never during. This is precisely why I go to the cinema alone. Don't spoil it.

9. I can't really think of a #9. The thoughts that were coming thick and fast on the walk home have dissipated somewhat and I'm now being distracted by the loud party coming from my neighbours' house. They're Indian. And that's not me being racist, that's just making an observation that they speak far more loudly than any other race I've ever come across. And I've been to some noisy places in the world. And these guys yabber all night. I swear they tag-team for sleep. If I get up at 4am to go to the bathroom there's still at least two of them out there screeching away right outside our bathroom window. At 9am as I'm leaving for work they're still at it. 3pm, they're still there. Seriously, they could outdo my mother for sheer, non-stop prattling. It's quite a feat.

10. Time to wrap it up and go to bed I think. Getting back to the film, I think it raised some very interesting points about life and what we make of it. It made me think of this film and the concept behind it. In the end it all comes down to what we make of what we've got. And I like movies that remind me once in a while to focus on that.

Go see it. And let me know your thoughts.

PS. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who "types with purpose".


Chai said...

Crikey. This is going to take more effort than I thought. I was expecting 50 words or less posts :-)


was never a big fan of Mr Clooney but I liked him in O Brother, and got more respect (from me) for Syrania, ie. he was willing to put on the pounds for that.

I hear he is *really* good in Fantastic Mr Fox.
I plan to go see that soon. Have a stack of those 2-4-1 tickets which I never use up.

Chai said...

Ahhh! I think I forgot to type in bits that was in my head.

I seldom go to movies by myself cos I have a stack of those 2 for 1 tickets (courtesy of being a long suffering shareholder of Village Roadshow).

But aside from that, my preference is to go with one or more persons.

Not sure why. Maybe someone to discuss with after the movie.

magical_m said...

Don't worry - they won't all be this long! I don't think anyway.

GC is is good in FMF - but Jason Schwartzman is better. In fact he steals the movie. Definitely worth seeing.

Maybe take the cast list along with you though, because you'll spend half the film thinking "I know that voice, who IS that?". Or maybe that's just a reminder to myself to do that next time I see an animated movie. I couldn't place Michael Gambon at all throughout the whole thing and it drove me nuts every time I heard him...

Chai said...

Just got back from FMF. I really liked it. For some reason, I mispicked JS's voice was Tobey Maguire (cant remember whether it was Ash or Kristopherson's voice I thought that).

And it bothered me I couldnt place the coach's voice (Owen Wilson).

I should have guessed, had I been reminded it was a Wes Anderson movie, as they're all his regulars. Mr Murray too.

It's the 2nd movie in 2 days I've seen with Bill Murray in it. Saw Zombieland on my computer/TV yesterday. Was silly. Not v good I thought.