I’ve watched quite a few movies in the last couple weeks. I was doing a lot of last-minute, Christmas gift crocheting, which lends itself to such companionship as a good wood fire and a film. Luckily, I’ve discovered my local library has a pretty good selection of recent movies that can be rented for a week at the rate of $1.
Following will be completely erratic thoughts:
I’d seen Pieces of April on the shelves for a long time. Picked it up a lot. Put it down each time. Starring Joey Potter, otherwise known as Mrs. Tom Cruise. It has sort of a real-life tinge to the filming in a B-movie, home-video way, but it wasn’t annoying. April is the mess-up runaway daughter in New York, set to the task of hostessing Thanksgiving dinner to her family, helmed by a cancer-ridden mother. Her stove dies and she meets people. Her family freaks out and lessons are learned. It was an interesting story I suppose. I liked the relationship between her and her boyfriend- basically that he kept her together, despite being the center of controversy. Sean Hayes was dreadful. He’ll never outlive “Just Jack”. Oliver Platt and Patricia Clarkson were good. Basically, a good film, but somehow, it must have fallen short. It didn’t move me. And I’m not a good enough critic to know why not.
I had heard that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was weird. And it was. But I’d heard some good stuff too. I’d finally seen the preview enough times to sacrifice for that $1 rental. I don’t know man, it was weird. All the relationships were strange and the people were strange. I guess, in retrospect, I might appreciate some of the subtleties of Bill Murray’s character wanting to believe so much in this impossible son whom he’s never wanted. And what of the son? I feel like either there’s some deeper meaning to this movie that I’m just not getting, or I’ve been duped into believing there must be some deeper meaning to this movie. OR at least other people have been duped. Like they say about rubbish lyrics in a song, it’s all the more people can read into it and make it their own. I wonder how many movies are like that? Well, anyway. I’m not saying it was a waste of my time. It was tragic comedy. Another grade of “interesting, but not moving.”
Aberdeen was just a little out there in a real sort of way. Another dying mother calls out to her daughter. This time the daughter is a successful London businesswoman with a nasty coke habit. Her name is Kaisa. I think that’s a weird name. She’s Scottish, I think. The mother asks the daughter, to whom I believe she is slightly estranged, to collect her good-for-nothing, alcoholic father from a pub in Norway. Mum says Father has agreed to try another rehab. In truth, she wants them back in their hometown to visit her before she dies. Stellan Skarsgård, from Good Will Hunting (he’s really tall), plays a chilling drunk. Chilling because it is SO sad and so real. Just the plain addiction and the sad sad depths to which it can drive you. And despite her success, the weird-named Kaisa’s hidden addiction, causes her to be as temperamental as her pathetic father. The trip gets all f-ed up, and people end up relying on someone they don’t expect. Oh and thank goodness for a dorky truck driver, who somewhat unrealistically continues to help them despite their f-ed-up-ed-ness, and ends up changing their lives. A good English-language foreign film. Not one to top your charts, but a decent story with some fine acting.