Peter: Hey, Bill, where’s Ellie?
Bill: She dumped me for Jennie.
Peter: Well, can you blame her?
It’s been quite a run with my friend Sweet Jennie. We had ourselves a time at the Film Festival. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do tonight, without my backpack full of wine, pita chips and baba ghanoush, waiting for the red Honda F-I-T Fit to come pick me up . . .
Now that it's over, let's have a look back at what we saw, shall we?
Here's what I said about The Duchess last week, when we'd seen only one movie:
It was an odd little movie, strangely devoid of affectation. But Keira Knightley was adorable, as per. Great face. And her co-star Hayley Atwell, who the entire time I thought was Kate Beckinsale from Laurel Canyon, which I loved, was good, too.
Having seen the great slate of other movies since then, though, I'd say that was the weakest one of the bunch.
Rachel Getting Married
This movie was filled with comfortingly flawed characters. Kym was a flawed, flawed person, and Anne Hathaway nailed her. Rosemarie DeWitt was great as Rachel, too, and Debra Winger played a mother I can’t stop thinking about. Good movie that sticks with you, and just a fabulous rendition of the Neil Young tune Unknown Legend. Oh! And one rocking wedding.
The Dark Knight
Hated it. Hated the violence. Hated the people shooting eachother and cars crashing into eachother and buildings exploding. Hated that is was about 6 hours long. Hated that it was the country’s top-grossing movie and what people think of when then think of American filmmaking. Hated The Batman and hated his voice.
I did, though, like that Batman is now called The Batman. Nice touch. I’m thinking about adding a “The” to my name. “The Ellie”. I think it works.
I also like that, unlike what I feared, I was unaffected by Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker. Thankfully, he will continue to always be my poor gay cowpoke boyfriend, Ennis Del Mar.
And Jennie? Sweet Jennie my wee little vegan all-god’s-furry-creatures-loving pacifist friend? Jennie loved the movie. Jennie loved The Batman, and Jennie loved The Joker. Jennie wants to take The Joker home and nurture him. Jennie thinks The Joker just needs some Sweet Jennie Love to snap him out of his nihilism.
Vicky Christina Barcelona
Tragically, I missed this one. I had no choice: my rat friend Matt came down for a long-planned visit. And I really do want to see it. Not least because I love Barcelona. I spent 5 or 6 days there on a business trip the week before I got married. I love that city. And I love those Spanish hot potatoes Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. Jennie made it to the movie. How many movies did Jennie miss? Jennie missed zero movies.
Pretty good one. The first half was good, as was the last quarter. The third quarter slowed down too much, with a non-compelling courtroom scene. Angelina Jolie was good, and she had great dresses and hats – Jennie and I loved her lids – but there were about 17 too many of the exact same close-up of her
Loved The Visitor. Jennie and I thought it was going to be a happy, drumming movie, and it was much more somber and serious, but it was really good. I loved Richard Jenkins, and I loved Hiam Abbass, and I loved my smiley smiley beautiful boyfriend Haaz Sleiman. Lots of themes to think about like entitlement and loyalty and loneliness. Kind of heart-breaking, really, but I never ever wanted it to end.
I think this was my favorite one. I love a movie that lifts me out of the moment, and this one did . . . This movie was good. Melissa Leo – she of the academy award nomination – was awesome, as was her co-star, Misty Upham. As were the kids. I loved the connection between the two women, and the bleak New York State atmosphere, and the tight, compelling story. Just a brilliant little fil-um. Ellie Jury Prize Winner.
We had a lot to talk about after this movie. Interesting one. They all were, really. Which is why we chose to film fest in the first place, if I may use that as a verb. Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein, who played her sister, both had white, white skin and green, green eyes, and square jaws. (Neither Jennie nor I have a square jaw.) You couldn't take your eyes off either one. But there was one crucial plot assumption that didn't work at all, which is strange, and too bad, because it really hurt the movie. But I still liked it, and I loved the French. Oh. And the girl who played the daughter – named P'tit Lys (isn’t that excellent?) – was almost unbearably, adorably brilliant.
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