Thanks for coming back to my blog. I had intended to see more films today, but I got turned away from a screening of JACKIE (along with 200+ other people) because the demand was too big and being 25 minutes early wasn’t enough. That said, there will be another screening Wednesday, so I will know to be extra early.
My first screening of the day was the latest by the prolific (especially for being quite young) Xavier Dolan – IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD. This is essentially a chamber piece about a gay man who comes to visit his family and tell them he’s dying…he hasn’t been home for 12 years…and it’s quickly evident why he’s been away so long. Though I clearly understand what he’s doing, and the film is ultimately well done (though I do have some complaints about several of his choices), this is a film that’s hard to stomach. The cast is exceptional (I love Marion & Gaspard), but shouting matches, unlikable/annoying characters…it’s not something I can highly recommend.
LOVING, the new film by Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER, MUD), was next on my list. It’s also a film I’ve been looking forward to, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. This quiet and eloquent film is about the an interracial couple in Virginia whose illegal marriage and subsequent punishment (they went to D.C. to get married, but it wasn’t recognized in Virginia) eventually caught the attention of the ACLU…and eventually went to the Supreme Court to overturn miscegenation laws. For a film that’s largely about court battles, we only spend a few minutes in court rooms…and that’s refreshing. Instead, we spend lots of time with this Mildred & Richard (stunningly and lovingly played by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton) – and watching a couple who are so clearly in love with each other makes such a strong case for marriage equality on many levels.
My final film of the day was LA LA LAND, directed by Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH). This splashy, colorful, song-and-dance musical harkens memories of a bygone era of the Hollywood studio system. But even more, its influence is from one of my favorite musical directors – Jacques Demy. The opening scene, shot on an L.A. highway, will blow your mind and immediately had me scribble YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT in my notes. Starring Emma Stone (who will clearly be nominated for an Oscar) and Ryan Gosling, this film had me on my feet immediately as the “The End” appeared on screen. For the rest of the night, melodies swirled in my head and merely walking down the street was accompanied by the film’s infectious score. I can’t wait to obtain the soundtrack and see the film again!
Tomorrow is an extra busy day. Hoping I’ll be able to stay awake for all of it.
Thanks for reading,