Into The Wild (Film Thoughts: Wildlife)

p15750243_p_v8_aa‘Wild Life’ is one of those movies that are a lot of things, but never feels crowded.  It’s a story about a marriage and its disintegration. It’s a coming-of-age film. It’s a snapshot of life in a particular time (1960) in rural America. It’s all beautifully woven anchored by great performances, directed with grace by Paul Dano, sensitively written by hom and his girlfriend Zoe Kazan.

Jeannette and Jerry Brinson (Carey Mulligan and Jake Gylenhaal) are just like any other American family. They have a fourteen year old son Joe, (Ed Oxenbould) and he plays football. It’s your typical American family, but it’s all for show. Joe isn’t really interested in the sport, and Jerry just lost his job at the golf course because his boss thinks that he’s too friendly with the clientele. When he volunteers to help with fighting the brush fires, Jeanette goes on a transformation. Or is she just finally finding herself? This all happens before Joe’s eyes and he matures before he even realizes it. The film is at times painful to endure, but it’s real. Mulligan moves with ease in showing the change in her character, but I just have this weird thing in me that I see Katie Holms in her – or the other way around perhaps? Gylenhaal gives a solid performance as always, and there is wisdom in Oxnbould’s youth – his is my favorite performance here. This is the kind of film that may seem slight, but as you think about it more, the more you will realize its layers.

Right Of Rights (Movie Thoughts: Suffragette)

suffragette-435Today millions of people – men and women – marched all over the world to raise awareness for women’s rights, to make sure women are protected, to ensure women are looked at as equals. I stand with my sisters in the world.

And it also is as good time as many to write about ‘Suffragette,” a film I have been meaning to watch for a while now. Today is as good a time as many, and of course the significance of this is even more vital. The film is set in 1918, when women in Britain starting fighting for their right to vole, and had to resort to a lot of civil disobedience to put their points across. It is a powerful message, one that resonates to this day.

I just wished I liked the film more. there are too many things going on, and I foudn myself bored by the main character of Maud. Though played with earnestness by Carey Mulligan,  the character is just one of those dreary ones in drearier situations. (I have to mention the fab Ben Whishaw  who plays her husband – this guy can play anything, and is effective always) Sarah Gavron puts the focus on fictional characters so when Meryl Streep shows up as militant advocate Emmeline Pankhurst, the screen lights up because you are seeing historical figures you have read about, and have some familiarity to. And the ending is bittersweet, with women’s voting rights happening a decade or so after. Still, the message is more important, and we celebrate and protest today.