Movies of the Week #50 (2016)

This has been a really lazy week, film-wise. With Rectify coming to a close, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday were dedicated to the show, and episode after episode I felt weirdly overwhelmed by tenderness. Here goes for the rest, though.

Movie of the week:

Rectify (2013-2016)

rectify

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

  • Rectify (season 4, episodes 6,7,8): The last three episodes of the series, ending after four seasons, emphasized what set it apart from so many of the other good shows on TV nowadays: any of the characters could have been the lead and I was equally invested in their fates. Created by Ray McKinnon (known for his acting roles in Deadwood or Sons of Anarchy), Rectify really makes you feel like everyone matters, as the ripples of our decisions leave all sorts of marks. Its subdued nature conveys the sense of meandering through life and as the realization struck that only a few months had passed in the show during the almost four years it took to air, I was left thinking of how rich the show and its characters were to make so little seem like so much. A real time warp if I ever felt one. So yeah, maybe take the time and Zen out.

Thursday

  • Goodnight Mommy (2014): This Austrian scary movie is not so much a piece of horror, as it is an exploratory look at a very particular affliction. I had no idea that something like this existed and being any more specific would spoil the plot, but do look into it post factum, if you do happen to watch Ich Seh ich seh, as it stands in the original title. The synopsis would claim that after some facial reconstruction surgery, the mother of two returns to her isolated home, where her children react with serious doubts over whether the woman now in the house really is their Mutter. Twists and turns can play out predictably, but the inner tension of the movie works well, with some brutal gorey scenes to boot. So if that’s your thing, don’t miss it. 7/10

Friday

  • Florence Foster Jenkins (2016): Based on real events, this light comedy about the eponymous lead character portrays the early 20th century socialite with a lot of affection. Florence wishes herself to be an opera singer, but her inability to perform even tolerably well is obscured by those surrounding her – from the more leechy elements only craving financial backing, to those whose only desire is for her to feel validated and complete. Meryl Streep churns out another exemplary performance, but she’s in good stead with Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg completing a strong ensemble cast. It’s a shame, perhaps, that the movie is so light in the end, making away with any real-life starkness. Then again, that’s what it’s about. 7/10

Saturday

  • Io sono l’amore (2009):  I’ve had this one on my watchlist for at least a year now. Starring Tilda Swinton in a non-English speaking role and set in the early 2000s, the movie portrays a rich family of Northern Italy at a point of generational crossover. Symbolically, it stakes the claim that the fathers of those years have sold out the future of younger generations to come, a somewhat prescient observation considering how things are in Italy nowadays. Then again, they weren’t all that different seven years ago and what really makes Io sono l’amore stand out is the artful strokes of this societal fresca, imbued with so much stifled emotion. 7/10