It's been a rough couple of weeks (no worries, just ugly stuff rearing its head at work again. It's part of a bad cycle.)
We went to see Dream House in the theaters and liked it for what it was, although it struck me as being a bit cobbled together from ideas from other films.
I actually really like Daniel Craig in all of his roles, even if I dont' like the film itself (Quantum of Solace). He was really good in Defiance. And I adore Rachel Weisz, who is married to Craig.
Probably doesn't really belong here but we just saw The Descendants, which is having its pre-Oscar second round of theaters. Missed it when it was in town last time.
I thought the film was really good, but if you go expecting a light hearted comedy, this is NOT the film for you. Do NOT go see it if you don't want to find yourself crying, more than once. Apparently, my husband doesn't read up on movies as much as I do. I knew enough of what to expect to be able to enjoy the film very much. Clooney is so good at making us believe what he does is totally without any effort on his part. In a great departure from his usual demeanor of being a very charming fuck up, he plays the only real adult in a sea of laid back islanders who have no problem letting him do all of the heavy lifting and dealing with reality so that they can continue their laid back lives. And the issues he has to deal with are so earth shatteringly difficult, so overwhelming, that only pure selfish indulgence could have allowed his 'friends' and family to foist all of the heavy lifting for even one of these issues on him, much less two simultaneously.
Huge kudos for peopling the cast with very real, very ordinary looking people (Clooney and Shailene Woodley excepted, and also, depending on how you look at her, but to me, she looks 'normal' instead of 'glamourous' Judy Greer). I am familiar with Woodley from The Secret Life of An American Teenager (yes, it's terrible but I watched it sometimes mostly because it had Molly Ringwald (not good) and Mark Derwin (not terrific but I still love him from his days as Mallet, original version). BTW, the show is shit but it is full of really good actors, including Steve Shirripa (Sopranos) and Jennifer Coolidge (lots of roles) and some that I dont' know from other things, but who are actually quite good: India Eisley; Daren Kagasoff, and Francia Raisa. Most of the writing is awful, but some of the characters and actors really do a good job with what I consider bad material. Woodley is not my favorite of the cast, and indeed, I almost skipped the movie because she is in it prominently. But she really did a great job playing an all too privileged teenager who is angry with her parents, justifiably.
I've never been to Hawaii so I cannot comment on the authenticity of the city or the lives depicted. But I can attest to the authenticity of the emotions surrounding the loss of someone you love, but perhaps not so well as you might have done, and the regret therein, and how in the end, what truly matters is that you did love them and the love is more important than the millions of things that had daily made you forget that you loved that person.
If you don't want to read more about the film and possibly be spoiled, stop here.
There is a moment on the screen when Clooney's character has just been told that his wife will never emerge from her profound coma caused by brain trauma and that per his wife's advance medical directives, the doctors will have to disconnect the machines keeping her alive. She will die in a few days or perhaps as long as two weeks.
The look that passes over Clooney's face as he struggles to maintain composure lasts only a few seconds, but conveys so much and is itself worthy of an Oscar nod.
On a more personal note, I have had to deal with these sorts of issues more than one time in my life. When my mother was only 42 and when I was still in high school, she suffered a very serious brain aneurysm and while ultimately, she survived, albeit with serious disabilities, I remember well what it was like to see a relatively young woman, who had been seemingly very alive and healthy when I left for school that morning, hooked up to machines, covered in bruises left by the insertion of numerous needles. And the decisions we had to make then. And the decisions we had to make at the end of her life, nearly 32 years later. And the decisions we had to make for my father.