Sunday, February 28th, 2016

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bananasliketoparty: The very last movie review for this award…

Sunday, February 28th, 2016


The very last movie review for this award season! Which also means that I have seen all the best picture nominees! How exciting.


I liked your review a lot! I also watched Room by myself for exactly the reason you cite, and it had exactly the same result. :-)

You mention feeling like you knew of Brie Larson from somewhere, but sounded unsure of where you’d seen her, or at least like you hadn’t seen her previous movies. And obv. you’re aware at this point, but just for the benefit of anyone else who might be interested, here are my favorite things of hers that I’ve seen:

She’s Envy Adams in Scott Pilgrim (which I didn’t realize for a long time, despite having seen Scott Pilgrim more than once, because I didn’t know who she was yet when I saw it, and her character is kind of deliciously awful such that I’d never bothered to learn more about who played her).

The first time I really noticed her was her portrayal of Jon’s sister Monica Martello in Don Jon. Despite her appearance in the movie being so brief, and being defined so much by one low-key attribute, she creates an amazing character. This gifset pretty much shows the entire performance.

Because a couple of people I follow on Tumblr recommended it I watched her in Short Term 12, and she was great in it. Lenny Abrahamson has said it was seeing her performance in that film that convinced him she’d be right for Room. Since you liked Room so much I think it’s a safe bet you’ll like it too.

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Slate’s editor Laura Bennett explains why Room should win the…

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Slate’s editor Laura Bennett explains why Room should win the Best Picture Oscar. I’m convinced; not that I expect that to make any difference.

The video is a little spoiler-y, and I still think seeing the movie knowing as little as possible is a risk that pays off. But since the biggest challenge the movie faces is people thinking it’s a different movie than it actually is, showing a little more of it is probably worth it.

It might also help someone who already knows the story from the book, and wants to see more of what the movie has to offer without committing to a full viewing.

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Decoding things

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

I wanted to share something I was thinking about Room, the Oscar-nominated movie based on Emma Donoghue’s novel (which I haven’t read, but am going to as soon as a finish a certain biography). But the thing I want to talk about is spoiler-y, and it’s a movie that deserves to be seen unspoiled. So I’m going to put the spoiler-y stuff after a cut.

But before that, I just want to say that if you’re like some of the people I’ve talked to (who are also like I was before I saw the movie), in that you think, um, sorry, there is no way I’m going to watch a movie about that, I have a couple of non-spoiler-y things I want to put out there.

  • It’s very much not that kind of movie about that. The way it’s framed and executed takes material that could be (and in too many other movies is) dark/brutal/horrific, and renders it in a way that is the opposite of that.
  • In a weird way, Room reminds me a lot of my other favorite movie of the year: Fury Road. On the surface they’re opposites. On a deeper level, though, I feel like each is about the same thing, and examines that thing in the same way: by subverting elements of their (very different) genres that are themselves a reflection of that thing.

Ugh. That sounds confusing even to me. But spoilers. Anyway, please consider seeing the movie, and not reading what follows until you have. Thanks.

The thing I want to talk about are the actions of the two police officers who first encounter Jack. It’s just a small part of the movie, played out in a few short scenes with minimal dialog. But it’s so powerful in terms of encoded meaning.

Officer Parker, the woman who sits with Jack in the back of the police car and questions him, figures out what’s going on very quickly. You can see it in how she responds. Meanwhile, her partner in the front seat, Officer Grabowski, is clueless. He wants to hand Jack off to Child Protective Services. He speculates that he might be drugged. Even as Parker is closing in on the truth, Grabowski still doesn’t get it. He thinks Jack might be in a cult – “the long hair, the tooth.” He thinks Parker is wasting her time. He interrupts her questioning to suggest that she might get more out of him after he’s eaten.

Parker immediately decodes what’s going on because she’s a woman. Grabowski misses it because he’s a man.

I was raised a Grabowski. I live my life inside a dense cloud of massless ignorance particles, and nowhere is the fog thicker than on the subject of toxic masculinity and rape culture and its effect on women.

I’m lucky to have been able to hang around on the edges of women’s conversations the last few years and pick up on some of this. I’m lucky that people like Aline Brosh McKenna are out there talking about Room, like she did in Scriptnotes 231. I’m lucky that this movie got made, that I saw it, and that it’s getting at least some of the recognition it deserves.

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