Toy Story 4
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Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy were standouts--as were the dreamy dresses--but as for the movie itself? Stop, please, in the name of love. Why wasn't this flick better? Perhaps if it didn't MEAN to gesture toward Miss Diana-- Linnea and I would not have expected so much and loved it so little. [I didn't tell the spouse that I saw some of this before, on plane, without the sound. Visually it had, that first time, some interest... Much more compelling without that dull so-not-the-Supremes soundtrack. OK, I know, not the Supremes..."Deena and the Dreams", yeah yeah. But still. ]
Linnea and I viewed this film for the first time tonight. We rented it after viewing the Marlon Brando doc on on TCM where one of the topics was Brando's post-traumatic collapse after the film wrapped, blamed on the indignities he allegedly suffered while playing this part.
Linnea found it boring. I found it...well here's our conversation.
BARRIE: So why was Erica Jong vilified in the 1970s when she wrote of the zipless f*ck, but Bertolucci makes a film about it and critics call it the most important movie ever made?
LINNEA: [sarcastic] Aw gee, that's a stumper. I'll give you five minutes to think while I take the dogs out.
Later Nea added brutal to her boring. Can boring be also brutal? Perhaps she means brutally boring? I didn't find the action brutal so much as unpleasantly airless. And oddly unsexy. And a textbook illustration of the "male gaze". Perhaps I can simply no longer remember a time when it was news that sexuality, loneliness, despair and obsession are linked. Still, the obsession in this film is so NOT palpable, despite the attention to sex, and Maria Schneider's breasts.
But the tango scene was cool. And speaking of obsession, watching I became obsessed with Miss Maria's hair, but perhaps only because I had that exact hairstyle in 1979. Which considering how famous this film was in the 70s may explain more than one unpleasant vibe from a stranger.
I'm always happy to at least be able to say I saw another from the canon, even if I'd vote it off the list. Linnea however wishes we'd watched Dream Girls instead.
While I wish there was a greater context within which to view this film--i.e. such a broad and rich range of female-to-female desire on the mainstream screen that we would no more think to equate Notes on a Scandal to The Killing of Sister George than we would be likely to equate Hotel Rwanda with Plaza Suite--at least the filmmakers made sure to avoid the word "lesbian." Because this was not, beyond the surface, a film about an evil lesbian so much as it was about two women's mirrored and deeply embodied desperations. A brilliant and stunningly performed exploration on the links between obsession and loneliness. Gorgeously made.
Linnea said this was either the worst or the best movie she's ever seen. Me, I loved it. What do you get if you shake John Turturro? The Coen Brothers meets the Sopranos meets Busby Berkeley, meets Alan Rudolph meets those old "Smoking is Very Glamorous" anti-smoking posters. Hem of the city, fierce angry wives, and whoremaster husbands, old neighborhood Catholic working class spectacular. And Susan Sarandon. (Is
this the first time she's sang on screen since Rocky Horror?)
"You were ready for a love affair but not for love." What's not to love about Jane Wyman's rough trade passion for muscled, tan, bohemian Rock Hudson, pretending he's not portraying a gay man. And then there's the clothes. And the interiors. And Agnes Moorehead. A classic Douglas Sirk passion play. Oh for a home with such windows!