Pitch Perfect (2012)

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  • Directed by Jason Moore
  • Starring Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp
  • Written by Kay Cannon
  • Comedy
  • Rated PG-13
  • 112 mins.
  • 5 October 2012

Synopsis

Becca, a college freshman, joins her college girls’ a cappella group, the Barden Bellas, in a deal with her father that, should she make friends and enjoy the college experience, he’ll let her drop out and move to LA to start her career as a DJ.

How’s the Story?

It’s a pretty classic basic tale of a girl learning the importance of friendship in building one’s personality, but the way it’s presented is absolutely unique and interesting in the best way. I like these talent competition movies like this. When I was little it was Bring It On with the cheer leading, then when I was a teen it was dance movies, and here we have a singing movie when I was in college. I actually didn’t see this movie when it first came out, I saw it for the first time LAST year, and I liked it, but every time I see it, I like it more.

How’s the Acting?

The acting is pretty good. This is a pretty ‘insert tab a into slot b’ type of caricature acting more than ACTING, but it’s all good. Everybody fills their roles well and some of the comedic timing is just perfect, which is a big plus. All in all it’s nothing to write home about but in a good way because nobody sucks.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

I love the way this film is written, because it doesn’t play into the catty stereotypes about girls Becca’s age. The whole point of the story and her character progression is to take her from the “I’m not like other girls” type of girl into a girl who embraces other women. To sound like a total weeb, it’s basically the movie version of the deconstruction of the tsundere, where the character that seems to not care turns out to care a LOT. This is one of my favorite ‘good feminist film’ movies because the whole thing is about girls working together and unlearning all the stuff society corals us into about how other women are always your competition for everything. The way this movie is written just highlights all of that stuff and shows it being broken down.

How’s the Cinematography?

The cinematography is really simple, and maybe not the best, but it’s okay. This isn’t a visual masterpiece, it’s a fun movie with good themes. There are some scenes that are pretty lazily edited where shot-reverse-shot is used in a really easy cop out kind of way, but otherwise there’s nothing offensive about it.

Is It Worth Watching?

Pitch Perfect is the kind of movie that you can just put on and enjoy. It’s a great ‘weekend afternoon’ type of movie, because it’s light and simple but thoroughly entertaining (and fun to sing along to if you’re the type and you’re watching it alone). It’s hilarious, it’s smart with its intentions, and it’s a great movie for women. It’s on my list of favorite feminist films because it’s just a great film to remind girls that girls are awesome that everybody can appreciate.

Also, on a selfish note, I have to say the fact the main character is an alto makes me soooo happy because I get really sick of all the main characters in movies with singing in them being damn sopranos. ALTOS ARE IMPORTANT, TOO!

My Rating: 7/10

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Wonder Woman (2017)

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  • Directed by Patty Jenkins
  • Starring Gal Gaddot, Chris Pine
  • Written by Allan Heinberg
  • Action, Fantasy
  • Rated PG-13
  • 141 mins.
  • 2 June 2017

Synopsis

Diana, princess of the Amazons, has always learned of war and the outside world, though she has lived in the paradise home island of the Amazons. When a pilot stumbles upon their hidden island when his plane crashes into the sea, Diana learns of the ‘war to end all wars’ that is taking place in the outside world, and she is determined to carry out the fated duty of the Amazon and kill the god of war, Ares, once and for all, so that his poisonous influence over mankind can end and peace everlasting can begin.

How’s the Story?

This story is really good. I don’t know shit about Wonder Woman and yet I really enjoyed this story. I loved Diana’s background and I loved the steps through which this film goes to reaching its end. It’s a very balanced story that does not feel nearly as long as this movie actually is. I was stunned to see the run time on this film because the story never lulled!

How’s the Acting?

This is a very well acted film. I wasn’t expecting too much, but Gal Gadot is really good here. There are some moments where she’s not the greatest (very few but once or twice she over-acts), but she’s really good. I’ve never seen her before, but this was a great introduction to her.

Chris Pine was incredible in this! I didn’t expect that much of him either. I know he’s a good actor, I’ve seen him in a few things where he was mind-blowing, but for a superhero movie I expected ‘showy’ Chris Pine, not ‘natural’ Chris Pine. This was a top 5 performance for him, definitely.

I really dug the rest of the cast, to! I didn’t expect to like the supporting cast members as much as I did, but this was a great one.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

This movie’s writing and direction is so good. There are so many little moments (won’t bother to list them) where I expected the direction to go a different way than it did, and the way it DID go is way better than what I expected.

I like the writing in this film because this movie does what so many don’t bother doing, and that’s focusing on the humanity of it all. It’s part direction as well, but it’s a very writing-centric thing to have the film touch on all these issues of human nature. I adore that it talks about things from the perspective of someone who doesn’t understand them to do so as well. There’s a part where, minor spoiler, a character who is proclaimed to be a crack shot can’t do it, and when she says, “For someone who said he could shoot, he didn’t seem that good,” (paraphrasing) and we know that she doesn’t know what PTSD is. The same as when that character is shown having a nightmare. We’re getting a look at PTSD through the eyes of someone who has no concept of these things, and it makes it even more powerful.

Similarly there are two parts that touch on racism and she doesn’t understand it. Once, a character talks about how his dream was to be an actor but he’s the wrong color, and another time, a Native American character comments on how over in Europe, even though there’s a horrible war, he can be free, because the last war took everything fro his people, and when she asks who took it, he nods to his friend and says ‘his people’. It manages to talk about the complexities of racism since obviously not every individual is to blame for what their people did, but you can’t pretend just because of that it doesn’t matter.

This even gets talked about regarding the Germans through Diana’s lack of understanding about humans. She thinks that the only reason the Germans could possibly want to hurt people is because of Ares poisoning their minds. She doesn’t understand how it’s possible for people to be anything besides good without some outside influence. This movie has so many scenes that are nuanced in the way that humans work and seeing that from Diana’s point of view could have been done in such a preachy way, but it manages to never do that. It’s written with such care that this delicate balance holds.

And though I haven’t talked as much about gender because I’ve chosen to not bother since so many other people have probably said it far better than me, I will point out one thing that has to be said: I didn’t expect to be as deeply affected by the fact that this film has a woman who can’t be hurt. Most superheroes, not just women, can still be harmed, and we know she can because the other Amazons died at the beginning, but by having her deflecting bullets with her armor it struck me really hard that I live in a world where women are murdered all the time just because we exist. All the time you hear stories about women being murdered by their partners, women being murdered for refusing to give a stranger at a bar their phone number, honor killings for rape victims, honor killings for adultery, you even see news stories about women being murdered by men for being pretty and a ‘temptation’.

And when I saw Diana running across No Man’s Land deflecting bullets the words, “a woman who can’t be hurt by men” popped into my head and I almost cried. I never expected to be so deeply affected by a female superhero, because though I’m a feminist, I didn’t expect to feel any real difference in her than in male superheroes. But I was.

How’s the Cinematography?

The cinematography is good. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s good. There are some moments where the CGI is a bit shit, and some could say there’s too much slow-motion going on, but I didn’t mind those things. I like the color palate used, the gritty ‘war film’ look is a favorite of mine, but it’s nothing special.

All in all, this is a good looking film, but there’s nothing super special other than some REALLY badass fight sequences.

The best part of this film visually is the part where this woman is like the lovechild of Legolas and Black Widow doing this super badass aerial maneuver with a bow and three arrows that drop three bodies. That scene is genuinely when I went ‘oh shit, this is gonna be GOOD’.

Is It Worth Watching?

Wonder Woman is one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen. Full stop. I didn’t care much about seeing this movie because I don’t tend to watch DC films (I haven’t watched a DC movie since Batman Begins and I hate that movie, which is WHY I haven’t seen one since really), but it looked pretty good in the little clips shown on late-night talk shows, so I thought, ‘okay, this sounds fun’. Also, I liked the whole ‘feminist film’ thing a lot obviously, though I worried they wouldn’t actually succeed at doing it right (instead, we got a film that finally gets badass female character RIGHT).

So as you can see, this isn’t a movie I’ve been anticipating, the success or failure of this movie didn’t matter much to me, and I expected a good time after all the positive reviews, but nothing on the level of my favorite superhero movies.

And instead, like I said, this is one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen. This film balances action with story, character with plot, high points with low points, in a way that so many superhero movies fail to do. Everybody has seen a superhero movie that has too-long fight sequences, not enough character development, not enough of a story to warrant all the people in it (looking at you, Civil War), and just doesn’t work as a MOVIE as much as a superhero movie.

This is a good movie. It isn’t good for a superhero movie, it’s good for movies in general. Wonder Woman is a good movie that’s about a superhero. And I loved it.

The only reason this movie doesn’t get a 10/10 is because I would have liked to know more about the Madame Poison lady. I wanted to learn what happened to her face, where she came from, where she disappeared to, ect. Honestly, if we had gotten more information on her, this film might have made my third 10/10 ever. I loved it that much.

My Rating: 9/10

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Little Update On Some Coming Changes

Nothing major is going to change around here at Chelsea Loves Movies, but recently I have decided that I need to go back and try to standardize my ratings.

As you have probably seen, there are movies I utterly disliked that I have given higher ratings because of their ‘value’ or ‘artistry’ or some shit, and yet movies I really enjoyed have lower ratings just because they aren’t as good. I’m not saying this is WRONG, but my ratings have no standardization. Looking back, there are so many movies I would have given a different rating now.

So… I’ve decided to go through and alter some ratings. I need to be harsher anyways. The only ratings I tend to give are 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. So 5 means I utterly disliked something and 9 means I loved it. Which is kind of dumb. I need to go lower when I dislike things and stop giving almost every movie I find ‘good but not great’ a 7. MOST of my reviews are 7/10 and that needs some variety, don’t you think?

While no major changes are coming, I’m going to start rating more things 6/10 when they would normally fall under 7/10 just because I have things that should be 4 or 5’s under 6 currently.

You may not even notice the rating changes unless you’re used to digging through my backlogs, I’m going to implement these changes so slowly.

I just REALLY spend too much time rating everything 7/10 or 8/10 so far.

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Baywatch (2017)

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  • Directed by Seth Gordon
  • Starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra
  • Written by Damian Shannon
  • Comedy
  • Rated R
  • 116 mins.
  • 25 May 2017

Synopsis

Beloved lifeguard Mitch Buchanan has to deal with a smug new recruit all while trying to track down the source of the drugs that keep washing up on his beach.

How’s the Story?

Okay look, the story is ridiculous, and I, for one, love that. The entire point of the story is to mock the 90s TV show. There’s even a line in the movie about how everything someone just said sounds like a ridiculous yet entertaining TV show. I think that they do a pretty decent job mocking the original TV show with a ridiculous and convoluted plot.

How’s the Acting?

Look, most of the acting was irrelevant and pretty ‘whatever’, but Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron have magnificent comedic timing. They were hilarious together! I have to tell you, Zac Efron is way funnier than I ever figured he would be.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

I was pleasantly surprised by the jokes. I expected a mass of sexism and boob jokes, since it’s Baywatch. Instead, it honestly wasn’t that bad. In fact, there’s more dick jokes than boob jokes. It wasn’t the most clever series of jokes by any means, but I laughed without being grievously offended at any point. I wouldn’t say this film is by any means as poorly written as some would suggest, because I laughed my ass off, as did the entire auditorium at my showing (Sunday afternoon, TONS of people), even if it isn’t the best film by any means.

How’s the Cinematography?

The cinematography is understandably pretty crappy. This is by no means a beautiful film to look at. However, there were plenty of things that were nice. I enjoyed the underwater shots. They were done pretty well.

Is It Worth Watching?

While I haven’t given this one a glowing review by any means, I did really like this movie. I won’t recommend it just because apparently everybody else on the entire internet hated this movie (not even that much hyperbole if you look at any reviews for it besides this one), but I will say if you’re like me and tend to enjoy comedies that get shit reviews and people say things like, “I saw this so you don’t have you” about them, then by all means, see this film! You will probably like it.

My family and I went and we all enjoyed it. From age 13 to 52 in that range. The entire auditorium was full of people laughing their asses off, so clearly a lot of people did like it. I enjoyed it and will definitely be watching it again whenever it makes its run on TV in the future. It’s by no means the best movie, but it’s funny, not nearly as sexist as you would expect, and shockingly diverse. There’s only about four white people in the entire movie, which is very rare these days.

If you are inclined to like comedy and want to spend an afternoon enjoying some laughs, then by all means, go see Baywatch.

My Rating: 6/10

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Ever After (1998)

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  • Directed by Andy Tennant
  • Starring Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, and Anjelica Huston
  • Written by Susannah Grant, Andy Tennant
  • Drama, Romance
  • Rated PG-13
  • 121 mins.
  • 31 July 1998

Synopsis

A non-fairy-tale telling of the story of Cinderella, Ever After is a frame story of an old woman telling the Brothers Grimm the ‘real’ story of her great-great-grandmother, the woman behind the legend of Cinderella. In this story, Danielle, a young girl whose father died when she was little, gets wrapped up in a lie when the prince, Henry, finds her while she’s pretending to be a courtier and as he continues to seek her out, they fall in love, all while her stepmother is trying her best to set him up to marry her daughter Marguerite.

How’s the Story?

I love this story so much. I’m not even that big of a fan of Cinderella (nothing wrong with it, it’s just not a favorite of mine or anything), but I love this ‘real’ version because it just has so many nuances and so much depth. Every character has a deeper purpose, and I love that so much. I’m a big fan of historical fiction, and though this one has some obvious historical accuracy issues (you know, like everybody having an English accent, haha) it is still an extremely believable setting as long as you don’t nitpick.

How’s the Acting?

The performances in this movie are incredible. Drew Barrymore has always been someone I consider a great actor, and this film is no exception. Her delivery of Danielle as this girl who is so young and optimistic but not at all naive or innocent to the worlds hardships is just so raw and powerful. I also really appreciate Anjelica Huston as Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, because though she is overall ‘evil’, you have enough moments to show that she isn’t pure evil. There are parts of her that have a soul and a heart and I really appreciate how she shows that.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

This movie is so well written holy crap. Guys, honestly, there are a thousand lines in this film that get you right in the heart and that writing is amazing, but if the director didn’t have them delivered the exact way they are it wouldn’t work as well.

A good example would be Dougray Scott’s delivery of the line where Henry says, “You’re just like them.” to Danielle. It’s so gut-wrenching and any other delivery of that line would be wasted.

Also there is just this one exchange that eternally makes me want to rip my heart out and throw it away because it’s just so painful, and in this moment Danielle says to her stepmother, “You are the only mother I have ever known. Was there ever a time, even in its smallest measurement, that you loved me at all?” and you know she’s evil, but you HOPE SO DESPERATELY that perhaps she will say SOMETHING to show she does care and instead her reply is, “How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe?”

This movie is full of lines I could quote until the cows come home. It’s just so beautifully crafted and the direction is perfectly on point.

How’s the Cinematography?

This movie is a classic 90s style romance film as far as the cinematography goes, and that is not a bad thing at all. Most 90s romance films had this warm color scheme, this heavy utilization of softer lighting techniques, and a measure of vibrancy in color that I really enjoy. There’s something visually appealing about the basic look of this film that I really enjoy.

Another thing that has to be mentioned is the fun use of natural outdoor lighting in the early morning or evening. In the shots in nature, there’s this beautiful utilization of the surroundings that’s just really enjoyable.

Is It Worth Watching?

Ever After is legitimately one of my favorite romance movies ever. I am not exaggerating how much I love this film when I say I would recommend it to anyone, even if you don’t usually like historical films, even if you don’t usually like romance films, just anyone at all. Yes, there are obviously some ‘wtf’ things that are weird, like the British accents and some phrases that are most likely not at all period-accurate, but it’s not a documentary, it’s a different take on a fairy-tale. Things like the inclusion of Leonardo DaVinci as a sort of real life stand-in for the fairy godmother are things that I like about this film, even if they’re sort of out there.

Most of all, this is a movie about family and love and the many shapes and forms they can take, and in that respect, Ever After delivers a very dynamic, nuanced, and human story that I believe anyone can at least appreciate, even if it ends up not being to their tastes.

My Rating: 8/10

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Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

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  • Directed by Matthew Vaughn
  • Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Written by Jane Goldman
  • Action, Comedy
  • Rated R
  • 129 mins.
  • 13 February 2015

Synopsis

A young man with a troubled home life is drawn into a life of spies and super villains after a chance encounter brings an illustrious spy with a need for an apprentice into his life. Eggsy Unwin must outlast other candidates to join a spy network called Kingsman all while his mentor tries to figure out what the newest threat to the world is and how to stop it.

How’s the Story?

I love this story for so many reasons. I’m a big lover of spy stuff, and a big lover of comedy, and a big lover of Colin Firth (mmmmm, Colin Firth), so you put all those things together and give me an incredibly funny and really interesting spy story with excellent action sequences and you have my attention. I love the relationships between the friends and the enemies, and I really love the interesting idea for the Big Bad Villain’s evil plot.

Overall, this is a unique and intriguing story that I really enjoy.

How’s the Acting?

While this film doesn’t really draw on any BIG performances, I really think they’re all pretty good. This movie is just full of big talents. Obviously, between Mark Strong, Colin Firth, and Samuel L. Jackson, you’ve got an all-star cast there. Also, Taron Egerton is an amazing actor! He is a fairly young guy without a lot of stuff under his belt, but I’ve actually seen everything he’s in – not even on purpose, I discovered this when I went to find more stuff he’s in and realized I’ve seen it all – and he’s FANTASTIC!

(You ever seen Testament of Youth? He will rip your soul out in that film)

The only thing that really is kind of ‘wtf’ in this movie is Samuel L. Jackson’s weird lisp thing. I don’t really know what the point of that choice was, but it’s not that bad.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

This film is so well written. I love James Bond movies, but they have so many things that piss me off, and though this is meant to be kind of a ‘parody’ of James Bond, mostly what it does is take out all the shitty things about spy movies and inject humanity into the characters.

My favorite thing about this entire film is the fact that everybody in it recognizes the lives around them and the consequences of their actions. Sure, the bad guys don’t care as much, but even then, they made the villain someone who hates violence and upon shooting someone says, “That feels terrible!” because killing someone in cold blood can’t feel good for even the most cold-hearted villain, but in spy movies even the good guys shoot people without even flinching. And as for the ‘good guys’, we have a spy that’s inevitably killed dozens of people at least in his lifetime, but upon killing a bunch of pretty horrible people he is visibly shaken and horrified at what he just did, whereas James Bond blows up a building full of people and walks it off like he didn’t just kill fifty innocent people. This guy kills not-so-innocent people and shows an actual human-like reaction, and it’s wonderful.

Another thing I love about the way this film is written is how it takes the typical spy movie sexism and totally wipes it off the board. There’s basically no real reference to gender differences at all. Even beyond ‘yeah, a girl who kicks ass!’ which is nice but not always ACTUALLY a positive gender role example, we have something as simple as the fact all the recruits are living in one dormitory with group showers and a row of toilets and there are members of both gender living in that dorm. There’s literally no concept of gender separation between the spies, even when it comes to seducing a target. Male or female, they’re all sent to seduce the same person. While this might not even register as something important to many viewers, I LOVE this, because it’s like the antithesis of gender roles and sexism in spy films to have not just badass lady spies who aren’t sexualized but to literally have the gender of the spies be absolutely ignored.

The only thing that I question in the direction of the film is whether or not they meant for it to be so goddamn homoerotic. I’m not sure what the directors thought they were getting out of Colin Firth and Taron Egerton’s scenes together, but rather than ‘kindly uncle figure’ they get ‘sugar daddy’. I’m not complaining, if I was Eggsy I’d TOTALLY have a crush on Harry, but I’m still pretty sure that wasn’t the intent. It comes with the way they interact. The scenes are set up somewhat ambiguous but their tones of voice and expression reads hardcore sexual tension in most every scene they’re alone in.

A good example of this would be the scene where Eggsy shows up at the tailor shop. For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, let me set a scene for you:

Young man who just escaped from his mom’s abusive boyfriend comes to a tailor shop after hours because the older gent who got him out of jail earlier told him to. He gets there and it’s dark in the shop with the only light being from the fire beside which a handsome man on the far side of middle age sits sipping a whisky. The young man looks at him and says, in a soft, almost flirtatious tone, “I’ve never known any tailors, but I know you ain’t one” to which the older man chuckles and rises and then proceeds to take the young man into one of the dressing rooms in the tailor shop, stand him in front of a mirror, and in an equally soft tone asks him to look at himself while standing right behind him and starts talking about his potential to do great things and how he would love to show him a new world in which he can do great things, all while referencing Pretty Woman

Come on, what the fuck else would you see that as than sugar daddy??? And that’s just one scene, basically every time they’re in a scene that’s just the two of them, it comes across the exact same way. I really feel like the director either missed the mark ENTIRELY or I missed the mark that says that’s exactly what it was meant to be read as.

How’s the Cinematography?

This film has these really awesome action scenes with a very active camera and very interesting pans and swivels that provide some long-takes that are actually not long-takes because they hide secret cuts, and it’s just really fun and different. It’s not your standard action film camera work. If anything, I would say it kind of reminds me of a Wes Anderson film in places, especially with the utilization of pans as well as the colors used. I just really love how this film looks. It’s got really great cinematography in my opinion.

Is It Worth Watching?

Kingsman: The Secret Service is genuinely one of my favorite movies. I own it on DVD and I have watched it possibly more than I’ve seen any other film I own besides Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier. It’s just such a fun movie, and it’s a great film for spy movie lovers who hate the coldness of traditional spy movies. It has so much heart and so many amazing characters. I didn’t talk much about Roxy and Merlin in the review because it was running a little long, but all of the characters, including those two, are so interesting and you just really love them.

It’s silly and fun and the action is great and the characters are wonderful and it’s gay as FUCK, and it’s just all around such a great time! I cannot impress upon you enough how much I love this movie. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it! If you have seen it, go watch it again!

My Rating: 8/10

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Being 17

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  • Directed by André Téchiné
  • Starring Kacey Mottet Klein, Corentin Fila, Sandrine Kiberlain
  • Written by Céline SciammaAndré Téchiné
  • Drama, Queer
  • NR (I’d say Rated R)
  • 116 mins.
  • 30 March 2016

Synopsis

A boy named Thomas, whose mother is ill and whose grades at school are suffering, is invited to live with the doctor who takes care of his mother and her son Damien. However, at school, Thomas and Damien are always at odd with each other, and more than once it has come to blows. When Marianne invites Thomas to live with her and Damien, Damien and Thomas must face the real reason that they don’t get along.

How’s the Story?

The story in Being 17 is really interesting. I genuinely found myself unsure of where things were going at points, and I liked that. This isn’t your typical teen queer romance story, it’s a story that has far more to the plot than just teenage self-discovery, and I found myself genuinely caring about the rest of the story as well.

How’s the Acting?

The acting is great, actually. The performance of Marianne is particularly beautifully done. She’s so believable and you feel like she’s a real person. That said, I’m not at all downplaying how good the boys playing Thomas and Damien are, too. This film, overall, is really well performed.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

This is where I get kind of annoyed. This film is very interesting and the story is very cleverly told, but there are things that feel unearned. I’m not even sure if that’s the way I really want to say it, but unearned is the best way I can describe it. Perhaps abandoned? Or unexplored? Maybe all three of those in tandem. Either way, I get frustrated with the film taking directions or introducing things that never get explored well enough and then having conclusions met in a way that seems like it wasn’t earned. And a few scenes are just entirely out of place.

For example, the bear thing is never really explored. There’s this introduction of this motif or theme or SOMETHING they intended about Thomas claiming he saw a bear and then him finding bear tracks in the woods near Marianne and Damien’s house… and that’s it. It’s never studied further. I’m not sure if I’m missing the point of that or what, but it felt entirely abandoned or not explored or however you want to phrase that. Also there’s the whole scene where Marianne is having a sex dream about her husband that is entirely random. It has no place in that place in the movie and I genuinely didn’t get what it was meant to give to the story there.

And most of all, I feel like the way that Thomas and Damien get together doesn’t really feel earned? By the time they get together it makes sense, but there’s a change somewhere in the middle that I just feel like wasn’t really explained. It’s like the character development wasn’t shown, you are just told it happened sometime off screen, and it works okay, but it doesn’t feel earned because I wanted to see it more than I did.

However, for all those negatives, the writing is still very original and the direction is good. I just think there were things that were introduced but never explored to the extent it should have been to warrant being there.

How’s the Cinematography?

The cinematography is stunning. I actually said to a couple of friends while we were doing a podcast recording that this movie felt like someone found this beautiful place in France and knew someone who was a great DP and went, “I’m going to write a film JUST so I can shoot it here!” The nature scenes are absolutely incredible.

Beyond the beautiful location, however, I really like the way this film often stays in tight on people’s faces while they’re walking and talking and stuff. It’s very reminiscent of this short film I saw in a production class called Magnesium. It was ENTIRELY in this girls face the whole time, and while this doesn’t do that, there is that same sense of ‘we are entirely connected to this person and experiencing what THEY experience’ in keeping so close to their faces.

Also, I’m not sure if I love it or think it’s misplaced, but there’s a very interesting use of jump cuts in this film. It’s only in a few scenes, so it feels kinda weird, but I like the kind of feel it gives those scenes. It feels like a nod to the French New Wave and it’s just a very interesting way to make the scenes it’s used in more interesting.

Is It Worth Watching?

I would recommend this to anyone who likes queer film. It’s not only a good FILM for queer film (often queer films are acted/shot/written like really crappy D-movies), but it’s also a queer film where there are no stereotypes played into, nobody gets AIDS, nobody kills themselves, ect. It’s a film that is about more than just somebody being queer. It’s a film about characters and their lives at this point in time and the two teens happen to be queer.

I also recommend it to anybody that is interested in very different film-making approaches with the strange writing and the random use of jump cuts. It’s definitely not your average film as far as just film-making goes. It’s very much a ‘cinephile’ film and I think even if the subject matter isn’t as appealing to you, the film-making would keep you interested.

My Rating: 7/10

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