Life Itself…

Life brings you to your knees it brings you lower than you think you can go. But if you go just a little further, you will find love. 

“Life Itself” (2018), Dan Fogelman

I love Fogelman’s 2018 film “Life Itself.” I watched it for the second time last night. The critics hate it, giving it dismal ratings. They find it trite, simplistic, sobby, vapid. I find it profound and moving to the core–and viewers give it ratings in the 90s. It has a wonderful cast: Olivia Wild, Oscar Isaac, Anette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, to name a few. Wonderfully narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and Lorenzo Izzo. That narration carries much of the punch, it is brilliantly done. Dylan’s “Time out of Mind” soundtrack runs through the whole and frames the story so movingly and profoundly. You can watch it on Amazon Prime, and perhaps other services. I highly recommend. I also love “This is Us” which is Fogelman’s 2018 series. Here is a nice interview with Fogelman and some of the actors. https://youtu.be/2msIDrPi4M8

 

I’m Thinking of Ending Things…

No, that’s a film title, and it is not about suicide but ending a boy-girl thing. Maybe. I am not sure. Maybe it is about ending the Ending. We watched it this weekend on Netflix. Anything Charlie Kaufman does I will watch. This one will have you head scratching for over two hours but at moments it breaks through in a profound way–and the puzzling ending is to figure out. I mainly was pulled in by the the superb acting of Jessie Buckley as Lucy (who’s listed merely as “Young Woman” in the credits), Jesse Plemons, her boyfriend Jake, and  Toni Collette and David Thewlis, Jake’s parents. The whole thing is stunning. The first part of the film is a solid enough narrative for even me to follow, but it gets more and more bizarre. I usually don’t like films I feel I have no change of understanding, but would watch this one again, just for the lines and scenes. And there is a spoiler here in Vulture, but please, not until you have watched: “The Ending Explained.”

This clip is priceless. Jack and Lucy trying to drive back home in a snowstorm, after visiting the parents on a farm. I called it “The Lie of it All”

The Best and the Worst…

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.” Yeats said that, but so did Lou Reed, quoting him live at the Bottom Line, NYC. Narrative by Jeff Bridges in the fabulous film “The Only Living Boy in New York” opening scene. Who remembers this title from a Simon & Garfunkel song? 

 

The Rough Ways of the Lord

Sometimes I envy the finality of death. The certainty. And I have to drive those thoughts away when I wake. We will never get used to the Lord’s rough ways Joseph.

Rosalie Quaid to Captain Joseph J. Blocker, film “Hostiles,” directed by Scott Cooper.