Recent Movies

I’ve been on a huge movie kick this week, seeing three just this week. I don’t know if my standards are falling or my movie selectivity is getting more stringent, but I really liked two of the movies. Like, I really really liked them. Like, favorites status. 

Inside Llewyn Davis

  • I loved the music. Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary-type early ’60s folk. (and Marcus Mumford recorded some of the songs, so.) I want the soundtrack.
  • Justin Timberlake sings folk! and Beatles-style pop! Also you can hear Carey Mulligan and Adam Driver sing, and they are fabulous.
  • This was such a beautiful movie. The hazy, cloudy winter’s day color palette matched and enhanced the mood of the movie so perfectly.
  • And the clothes, oh the clothes! The brown overcoats! The grey scarves! Carey Mulligan’s bangs!
  • Sometimes I wish I could relate more to Llewyn Davis – to have a deep, intrinsic passion for something bigger than himself, even if it’s killing him – to do things that were real to him, no matter what other people thought – to act on feelings, rather than miles of neurotic thinking and self-doubt.

American Hustle

  • Unfortunately I couldn’t get past the changing accents. Some characters, like Amy Adams’ Sydney, brought attention to the differing accents, which was when I first noticed it. Then I couldn’t tell if Jennifer Lawrence was doing an accent or not, so then I just saw the character as Jennifer Lawrence occasionally doing an accent of some sort. Even though this character is so different from the others she plays.
  • At times I felt the plot wasn’t super original. Con artists working with their captors on a bust to earn a reprieve? FBI agent defying his superiors to get a bigger catch? Actually, this just sounds like The Wire now.
  • The hair oh god the hair. I know it was on purpose but still. I despised 90% of the hair. The only exception was Sydney’s loose waves (not the tight ringlets), which were divine. Same with the clothes – the only ones I remember liking were the DVF-style wrap dresses Sydney wore when pretending to be Lady Edith (highly correlated with her loose waves).

Frozen

  • I really liked Frozen too. Then again, I also really liked Tangled and Up and Toy Story 3, so maybe this is just a reflection of my personal, childish tastes.
  • The dialogue was surprisingly conversational and not contrived. The cheesiness was generally limited to self-referential cheesiness, so ok, fine. Were all the ’90s Disney movies like this, but we were just too young to notice?
  • I really want the soundtrack for this movie too. So good!
  • The cast, good lord the cast. Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad. It’s like the actors on the musicals circuit joined forces for this thing. No wonder the music was so good. Although, I already knew Idina Menzel was voicing Elsa, which rather distracted from the character. It’s like in the movie Her, when I was convinced the whole time that Rashida Jones was voicing the OS. I’m glad I didn’t know that Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad were in the movie, otherwise that’s all I would have heard.
  • Is it a sign of the times that Disney characters are becoming more endearingly awkward, and, well, “real”? Nowadays people seem to want the figures they look up to to seem relatable and down-to-earth. Like tech CEOs wearing relaxed outfits at product releases. I attribute this to the internet, for ostensibly leveling the playing field. “Stars! They’re just like us!”
  • Anna’s pursuit of love was at times bizarre and teenage (ugh), but overall refreshingly unorthodox and nonlinear for a Disney movie.
  • I like how there was no real antagonist for like half the movie. Sure, there was interpersonal strife – lots of it – but everyone was just doing what they thought was best for their friends and family. Disney can have a tendency to paint things as good or evil, but in real life it’s not so black and white.
  • I appreciate the Arrested Development references: one of the Duke of Weselton’s dance moves at the ball mirrors Lindsay Bluth’s chicken dance, and the “finish each other’s…sandwiches” line is similar to a moment between Michael and Lindsay. Also, apparently this is not an Arrested Development reference but I could have sworn it was – I know I saw a TV show recently that featured a Swedish company named Sven that rivaled the main characters’ company. I think it was a futuristic design company? Contracting firm? Maybe a real estate company? Anyways, whenever Sven came up in conversation, the main character would say with disgust, “Ugh! Sven! I hate Sven.” Now this is killing me. Where is this from??*
  • Usually movies leave me feeling irritated and unresolved even if I technically liked the movie, because they were too long, or they sapped my energy, or the characters’ bad life choices pissed me off. After watching Frozen, I actually felt happy and content, and all the songs were stuck in my head.
  • Maybe I haven’t seen a Disney movie in a long time, but I’d forgotten how jarring it was to have characters break into song so frequently.
  • Kristoff looks like Owen Wilson. Doesn’t he? He totally does.

*OK, disaster averted, it was from How I Met Your Mother. If it had been an AD reference that would have been rather opaque anyways – Sven the reindeer and Sven the architecture firm have little in common.

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One comment

  1. totally agree about being content after watching frozen. had no major gripes about it and since i watched it right before sleeping (in the dark lol) i was all happy and warm 🙂
    lol @ the sven thing

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