Movies of the Week #13 (2018)

I was on holiday last week, so my movie diary got a bungled up. As usual, when with many others, re-watching movies is in order, both the recently released and the not-so-recently-released. There’s some big hitters though in each week, with no strong favourites though for the MotW title. Alas, there must be a winner and to make it a competition, I refuse to allow past winners back in competition (sorry GO and TDA).


When art meets fart

  • The Square (2017): I loved the comment I saw on icheckmovies. It simply states: The Square is better than The Circle (2017). Hard to deny that. The Square is a multi-layered experience, about the world of art, social expectations and prejudices. It’s terribly ambitious and at times manages to sweep you off your feet, both visually and thematically. Overall though, I would argue that Ruben Östlund, in spite of receiving the Palme D’or for this effort, did better with Force Majeur (2014), a more focused movie that bears some of the same stylistic and thematic traits as TS. I’ll complain, as usual, about the runtime, which goes up to 2.5 hours, a symptom of the overcrowded nature of the film, which still leaves quite a few threads hanging by its conclusion. The threads that bind, though, feel pertinent and artistically sane, which means that it wouldn’t be too hard to make a case for TS as one of the best movies of last year. I have my own qualms though with social awkwardness, which is elevated to a spectacular level here, and although its effects are as intended, I failed to appreciate them. All this, I guess, makes The Square an acquired taste, like placing piles of ash in a museum and calling them art. But a bit better. 7/10

Family rebuttal

  • Wakefield (2016): The simple premise of Wakefield does little to enlighten the prospective viewer – “A man’s nervous breakdown causes him to leave his wife and live in his attic for several months.” (IMdB). Maybe I would disagree with the term ‘breakdown’, because there’s some deliberate, rational element to Mr. Wakfield’s decision to not go back home one evening and rather relocate in the garage across from it. His observations from afar provide an unusual, one-sided perspective, full of prejudice against and resentment of family life, as Bryan Cranston portrays the man who is hard to like. It starts out as a foolish gesture and then escalates into an unmanageable commitment.  Unfortunately, the movie is satisfied with not providing a proper conclusion, which was a major disappointment and cop out. Up to that point and especially in the last half hour or so, I found myself abstracting the unlikely and simply wondering about how such a character would come to be. The movie’s premise, lacking any premeditation, can more accurately be summed up to ‘man chases raccoon into attic and decides to abandon his life’. Who wouldn’t want to watch that to know more? 7/10

Put me up, put me down, in the sunken place I’ll frown

  • Get Out (2017): Rewatching it, exactly a year later, didn’t alter Get Out much. It’s still the same excellent experience it was the first time around. The only thing I contemplated, was whether I would have preferred the existing alternate ending and I think the answer is yes. It doesn’t make that much of a difference, but it felt like it belonged more tot the movie’s systemic critique. 8/10

When Lohan was more relevant than Logan

  • Mean Girls (2004): I first watched MG close to its release. Surprisingly, although it embodies my preferred high-school backdrop, I seem to have hated it. I don’t recall hating it and upon revisiting, it felt like a mild diversion, with no fundamental sins that would require penance. Gist of the story: nice, home-schooled girl joins actual school, sees it for what it is (a cesspool), then slowly becomes active part of the cesspool without realizing it. Starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Kaplan, Amanda Seyfried, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey (who also wrote the script), there’s no shortage of big names here, although most barring Lohan weren’t that big in 04. So, you know, it’s not that bad and if you bother with it, you can enjoy some pertinent takeaways. 6/10

Still tearin’ me!