Throwback Thursday: Big Eyes (2014)

Art knows no gender. That does not mean, however, that a female artist is going to get the same respect/reception that her male counterpart will.

The 2014 film, Big Eyes, tells the story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams). In the early 1960s, Margaret was a divorced single mother who was trying to get by via her art. She is soon swept up off her feet by Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). After marrying Walter, Margaret continues painting. What she does not know is that her husband is claiming that the work is his. In doing so, he is getting attention for both the success and failure of the paintings.

When she finds out the truth, she knows that she has only one option. Reveal the truth and rely on only herself to get by.

Directed by Tim Burton, this film falls very securely within the theatrical vision that audiences have become accustomed to. Adams and Waltz are perfectly cast. My problem is that I quickly got bored. Within a half hour of watching this movie, I felt no need to continue on. I hate to say that I was bored, but there is no other word to describe it.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

Throwback Thursday: Carnage (2011)

One of the things I find fascinating and frustrating as a grownup is that we claim to have the ability to be mature and think things through in an intelligent and reasonable manner. That being said, it is amazing how easy it is to revert back to childish behavior.

The 2011 film, Carnage, is based on the play God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza. After two eleven-year-old boys get into a fight in Brooklyn Bridge Park, their parents meet up to figure out what exactly happened and mend fences. Michael and Penelope Longstreet ( John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster) and Alan and Nancy Cowan (Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet) hope to resolve the problem in an adult and expedient manner. Instead, the conversation devolves into revelations of the character’s flaws as both spouses and parents.

Directed by Roman Polanski, this movie reveals what happens when people stop being polite and start being real (to borrow a quote from The Real World). The most interesting narratives are the ones that reveal our shortcomings as human beings. This one has revelations oozing from the core, asking all of us to look at our own imperfections and be honest about the weaknesses we need to work on.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Throwback Thursday Part II- Inglourious Basterds

Warning: May contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen this movie.

Quentin Tarantino is known for making a very specific style of movie.

His 2009 not quite historically accurate World War II movie, Inglourious Basterds, is his own take on World War II.

The movie intertwines two different stories. Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) is a Jewish woman, whose family was murdered by Col Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is an American servicemen whose company consists all of Jewish-American soldiers.  Their task is to kill Nazi soldiers.

Only escaping with the clothes on her back, Shosanna hides in Paris as the owner of a movie theater. Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl) is a Nazi soldier who is being turned into a hero by the Nazi propaganda machine. Zoller takes an interest in Shosanna, not knowing her true identity.  The Nazis plan to use Shosanna’s theater to premiere the movie about their war hero and the Basterds see the opportunity to complete their assigned task.

Is this movie historically accurate? Other than the massacre of Shosanna’s family, no. It is a typical Tarantino movie blood and gore? Yes.  But that is what makes it so good. Movies are meant to entertain us, and this movie is entertaining. And I will admit that as someone who lost family in the Holocaust, I can’t help but feel that the destruction of the movie theater is payback, if only on screen.

I recommend this movie.

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