Oscar season begins! Let us resume watching movies!
In theaters: Gone Girl
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home on the day of his fifth anniversary to signs of a struggle and his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), nowhere to be found. As the days pass and Amy remains missing, police begin to suspect Nick while Nick begins to suspect something more nefarious. And that’s just the first half of the film, before director David Fincher starts pulling the threads and unravelling whatever simple narrative you might have constructed.
Fincher does a good job of putting all the right pieces in the right places with this film. You’ve got a bumbling douchebag husband (brilliantly played by the Affleck), his terrifyingly ruthless wife (who will give me the shivers now and forever more), and a charmingly Colombo-like small-town detective (Kim Dickens). It’s all set to yet another sure-to-be Oscar-winning score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that keeps you off balance and creeped out for the entire 149 minutes.
What does this film says about marriage and the (terrible) ways our relationships with other humans shape who we are? I dunno man, but whatever it says it’s pretty dark. However, I think I can confidently say, before the release of the much-anticipated/feared Batman v Superman, that we’ve reached peak Affleck. A gaslighted, derfy husband is the role this guy was born to play–and maybe just is in real life.1 ★★★★★
- Why you should see this movie: It’s the beginning of Oscar season!
- Why you shouldn’t: You may have married an axe murderer and would rather not consider these things.
- Bechdel Test: Despite having several interesting and complex female characters, Gone Girl passes mostly on a technicality.
— ∮∮∮ —
The Long Hot Summer (1958)
by Susan Howson
Take out the soundtrack and make the ending a little less optimistic, and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous, innovative, ballsy film. ★★★★★
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
This is movie about a bloodthirsty, murderous family of zookeepers. We show it to our children. It is, somehow, a classic. It’s also a revealing look in to the past, before we gave a crap about how animals were treated during the making of a film. ★★★★★★
Hey guess what’s awful? How about another human relentlessly intent on using your body as a sexual receptacle, regardless of your thoughts on the matter? Lots of people (one in three women) have first hand experience with this. For those of us that don’t, director David Cronenberg’s Shivers illustrates by way of a lust-inducing parasite that changes the regular behavior of everyday people to…rapey behavior that a lot of everyday people find totally acceptable. ★★★★★
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Tim Allen’s character in Galaxy Quest is Buzz Lightyear. Did I just blow your mind? ★★★★★★
- Although Jennifer Gardner seems much too nice to gaslight anyone! ↩