Charlize Theron delivers one of the most impressive performances of the year.
Friday, 9 December 2011
Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt
Horse Badorties said on Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:37:18 PM
Thought I'd put in my two cents. Unlike his father, Reitman is rapidly becoming a genuine American auteur. No one working in Hollywood today gets the incipient loneliness and social malaise of post-modern America, "How we live today," as it were. His last two films, this one and Up in the Air, totally nail all the odd comic elements of a society going joylessly through the motions - the sterility and formlessness of airport culture, the soulless vapidity of small town life, the weird highway ramp hotel non-culture, successful people trapped in their own self-made defensive cocoons, not to mention the perverse enjoyment of misery and depression fueled by endless booze and empty sex..Reitman is basically aiming his films at people who read things other that Twilight. He is drawn to writers like Walter Kirn and Diablo Cody because they seem to have something to say about the sad Way We Live Now that is not driven by research and age demos. The irony of Mavis, the ultimate "hip" urban creature, confessing that what she really wanted was to be a "square", and the defenses she erected to combat that failure, is the sort of irony that would make people walk out, I suppose. Give it up for Charlize, totally fearless, who gets something about the world we live in that should be explored. Like Carlin once said, "What, are you gonna eat at Wendy's and read USA Today till the end of time???" I also was the only one laughing at lots of the lines. So what? These folks are playing to those select move goers who are too hip for the room. Don't those moviegoers deserve a few annual gifts in a world of creeping meatballism? But don't expect too many of these types of films a year..Just be thankful when they come along...
Nobody knows anything
The Satire Fish said on Friday, December 23, 2011 3:22:44 AM
NL: That was the point. You see this pathetic retch, as the Matt Character points out, and you root for her to change. Like Matt, you are appalled by her thought process and goals for returning to town, but you hope she will come to her senses. And, at that critical tipping point, where it looks she could have seen the error of her ways (SPOILER ALERT), she talks to the one absolute worst person she could talk to- the idolater fangirl who wants to be just like Mabel and the characters of her books, and we as an audience don't see it coming. Such an innocent seeming person sends Mabel tumbling down into her own self pity again. Just like real life, sometimes we are set up for a big life change, and some comment from a random stranger delays that change, sometimes indefinitely. I enjoyed rooting for her to change, and when she doesn't, I'm heartbroken for her with a giggle of "I didn't see that coming." Sorry you didn't like the journey.
Kevin said on Saturday, December 17, 2011 9:47:12 PM
@Nathan- I have to completely disagree. I just saw the film, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think Mavis does go through quite a bit of transformation; the fact that you can tell what the outcome of her endeavor will be within the first five minutes actually helps add more awkward tension and uneasiness through the film, and the fact that not everything follows as you would predict helps keep it fresh.
The relationship between Theron and Oswalt works really well, especially considering he is the one person who refuses to take her crap; he has a legitimate reason to be where he is, so he won't take her delusions of grandeur or her deceptive self-pity yet he can identify with her.
Also, what you point out in the third act is very sneakily shown in the first, although it doesn't mean what we originally think it does; if it had been explicitly depicted, then the reveal wouldn't have had nearly the impact it does, particularly with one little detail in the earlier act.
I think that you do end up rooting for Theron a little in the end, and I don't think she's the same miserable jerk that she was at the start. It may seem on the surface that her thought process is the same, but the approach to it is completely different; that tells everything.
Joe Smith said on Saturday, December 17, 2011 7:00:16 PM
Worst movie I have seen all year.
Jake said on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:03:53 AM
Do you think this has any chance at a Best Picture nomination?
Kyle said on Saturday, December 10, 2011 9:45:38 PM
@Nathan - I haven't seen the film so I can't comment, but I will say your criteria for judging a movie seems to be based off the fact that you as the viewer must root for the protagonist and/or they must always have a positive transformation by the end. I think you're wrong. I can list, and I'm sure Richard can list even more great films with hateful characters who don't change by the end of the movie.
Nathan Ligon said on Thursday, December 08, 2011 1:57:19 PM
Look, I love you Richard, but I had to tell you how wrong you are here. I love Reitman and even named my weekly review show after Thank You For Smoking (show is Thank You For Watching). However, this is the first movie he has made that is just plain bad. I have no idea how you or any other critic could possibly like this woman. She is sick, sad, pathetic, delusional, hateful, and mean the entire film. The one point towards the end when you think she may be redeemed she goes right back to being a hateful jerk. Now, I think Theron is great in this role and there were some good laughs between her and Oswalt, but there is no depth to the writing. You know exactly what is going to happen in this movie within the first 5 minutes and you just wait for it to happen. The only surprise in the 3rd act is a history with Buddy (Wilson) that would have provided some depth to Theron's character and maybe made her more sympathetic if we had known it earlier. There needed to be something in the writing here that made the audience root for Theron even though you know what she is doing is wrong. Daniel Plainview was evil itself, but he was written in such a way that you could not help rooting for him. Mavis is none of that in this movie. She is a bad and dumb person in the beginning and there is no change to her when it's over. There was probably no more futile piece of filmmaking this year. Nothing could have happened and you would have had the same outcome. That's a good tag line for my review next week when it opens in my city. Young Adult is a complete and utter exercise in futility.