Movies of the Week #46-49 (2021)

Celle que vous croyez (2019): A more extreme version of the “voices in our head” theme, Safy Nebbou’s movie tells Claire’s story of unrequited love. Clair, a 50something woman, is brought to life in beautiful nuance by Juliette Binoche, who elevates the meandering parts of this psychological romantic drama to something worth watching. The tricks it employs to keep you guessing what’s what tire out at some points, but the twists are satisfying enough to not detract Binoche’s performance. 7

Violet (2021): Olivia Munn makes for an engaging lead in Justine Bateman’s stylized movie about a woman struggling to extinguish “the voices” in her head. I found it hard not to empathize, as there always seems to be a nibbling, little mind-killer that sounds about in my head every now and then. It might not be as overwhelming as it appears here, particularly as Violet’s situation is compounded with commentary on the parts women sometimes play in professional environments, but it exists. The movie lacks a satisfying finale and is a bit of an acquired taste otherwise, one which my buds were well adjusted to. 7

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021): With Tammy Faye a total unknown to me, this route biopic had the informative factor going for it – what the heck is a televangelist and why does such a thing exist? I kid, naturally, but Tammy Faye’s story is a curiosity – which you might as well read up on in five minutes on Wiki. What elevates the movie is Jessica Chastain’s phenomenal performance, one brimming with emotion and breadth, as the decades flush over her troubled character. It might not be the year of the biopic, but Chastain deserves all the attention for what she achieves here. 7

No Time to Die (2021): Ending one of Bond’s most successful incarnations was never going to be an easy task, with plenty of logistics: there were a lot of emotions to manage and character arcs to end. That does not mean that it required close to a three hour runtime, maintaining a recent trend and also making this the longest Bond in existence. It’s a fun, if tiring affair, and I wept a metaphorical tear at the end of it all, even if the whole thing was a bit ridiculous. Finding a new age replacement to Daniel Craig will be a daunting task. 7

Eternals (2021): Not being big on either Marvel in general, nor money-grubbing cinematic universes that did not tap into my childhood passions, I went in with zero expectations of Eternals. It was both wise and pointless. I honestly can’t say why this is considered notably worse than most of the Avengers movies – the same mishmash of characters, special effects and virtue signaling define this ample origin story. Yeah, the script is more trite than usual and the sheer amount of heroes being introduced makes it difficult to connect, even at almost three hours runtime. But beyond that, it’s more of the same cookie-cutter Marvel philosophy, which is sometimes fun to watch, sometimes ridiculous and sometimes tedious. All in all, nothing special, nothing horrible, though I do feel rather sad to say this of a movie coming from Chloe Zhao. 6