Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lola Versus (2012)

Loved it.  Though not everyone will.  I wasn't sure if my husband would like it for instance so I went alone on a Friday afternoon. (Great fun! I should do that more often.)

The movie has a great fantastical opening of all Lola's shoes and personal belongings floating up on the beach and her doing yoga with the camera tilting showing her life is about to go out of whack.

Why do I love this movie?  Well, I would love any romantic comedy set in New York that tries to examine the whole prospect like old Woody Allen movies used to do.  (I also loved the fashion!)  Every dress and pair of shoes that Lola and her friend Alice wear are beautiful beyond anything I've ever seen at the local mall...

Zoe Lister and Greta Gerwig in beautiful dresses holding drinking cups

It also has some surprising plot points and an unconventional ending.  Very brave.

Joel Kinnaman, who I love from the tv show The Killing, doesn't get to shine in this movie; his character is pretty flat.  He's the guy who calls off the wedding at the very beginning of the movie.  He's a painter but we never get to see his art.  Wouldn't it be so funny if his art was ridiculous?

I know Greta Gerwig is "everywhere" right now.  The roles I've seen (Damsels in Distress where she's very bossy and delusional, Greenberg where she's very shy and awkward) have been very different though. Here she's sort of lost and unaware of her best friend, Henry's, feelings--this kind of makes her unlikeable.  In some ways, I think she is too beautiful to have the audience's sympathy.  But she definitely does drunk and remorse well.

Her parents, great actors Debra Winger and Bill Pullman, are "perfect parents," the kind that give you a job when you need one and encourage you to have a party in their beautiful house when they're away.  It's hilarious when Bill Pullman tells Greta's character, "I de-friended him [her ex] on Facebook." I wish they had more scenes though.

I will think of this movie more because it is a lot like the movie I'm trying to write...

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom is awesome and a must see. Though The Royal Tenenbaums will always be my favorite Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom is a whimsical world on an island no less. It's a story of first love, 2 outcasts who find each other. The girl even had 3 younger brothers like I do. I read books too but never out loud to an audience of boys like Wendy in Peter Pan.

dancing on the beach
For anyone who sees it: was Wes Anderson referencing The Shining with that water/dam shot or what? The movie made me really appreciate community theater as well... 

It has the usual Andersonisms: hip music (7 Hank Williams tunes), slow motion, unbelievably cool dialogue, wide deep focus shots with tons of detail, whip pans to get to reaction shots, dolly shots from one room to another. He didn't do the white titles this time though. The use of scissors set up from the first shot was brilliant. 

Actors are well cast. Edward Norton portrays a scout leader who put scout leading even before his "regular job" as a math teacher and who has no idea where his troops were at one point.  Bruce Willis could have been more pained as the rejected lover in love with a married woman but I liked his tenacity at finding the kids.  

Francis McDormand is a pretty cool mom even when her daughter says directly to her face, "I hate you." I love how she got to use a bullhorn to call her kids to dinner.  My mom just yelled at the top of her lungs when dinner was ready though my parents did have a cowbell nailed to the kitchen wall that they would sometimes use as well. 

Jason Schwartzman gets to keep his sunglasses on the whole time making him a caricature of the cool cousin but it works.  He has some of the best lines of the movie. One line has to do with something like this (paraphrasing): Marriage is a big deal.  Go over there and have a conversation about the enormity of it before I do this.

Bob Balaban narrates on various parts of the island with a red cap that reminded me of Steve Zissou's (another Wes Anderson film character). I love how in some scenes he appears like a "floating head" as though the cameraman is  a documentary filmmaker just trying to get the shot.

"I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about."--Sam Shakusky to Suzy Bishop