Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend at the Movies

We played catch up this weekend with back-to-back matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday afternoon, it was Revolutionary Road. Whew.... I'm going to need some time. Going into any Sam Mendes (American Beauty) flick, you can't expect an uplifting or sunny experience. This movie is no surprise in that respect. The Wheelers are a post-newlywed couple that had big dreams for their lives but find themselves rounding 30 and living dead-end lives on the dead-end of Revolutionary Rd. Kate Winslet is a classic Hollywood starlet and chilling til the end. The scene stealer, though, is Michael Shannon as John, the mid-thirties son of the Wheeler's gossipy realtor played by Kathy Bates. John has lived for years in the looney bin but may be the most sane person to grace the screen in RR. People have noticed his performance as his ~10min on screen have earned him a Best Supporting nod from the Academy (something not seen since Dame Judi Dench's Supporting nod and win in 1999 for even less screen time in Shakespeare in Love). Like other Mendes films, the movie builds to a climactic finish that leaves the audience silent, bewildered, and somewhat disturbed. I even got a little emotional outside the theatre when I couldn't find my parking stub... The movie hit me in places I don't know if I look too often. Tread lightly my friends especially all my 20-something married friends with or without children. As we left the theatre, Whitney couldn't help but think of this quote:

"Maddest of all is to see things as they are and not how they should be." - G.K. Chesterton

For Sunday's Matinee, we took the trip we've been trying to take since before Christmas. Finally, we made our way to the heart of India and Slumdog Millionaire. This movie is a tour-de-force and an amalgamation of many other films. Director Danny Boyle's touches are everywhere. The story as I'm sure you are all now aware of follows the gutter rat contestant of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire through his life up until his eventual interrogation by the local police convinced of his cheating. The visuals and music will leave you breathless, and the situations will leave your stomach in knots. First arriving on the scene with Shallow Grave and hitting the mainstream with Trainspotting, Boyle finally directs his crowning achievement. Much like his last movie, Millions, Boyle again strikes gold with the stars of his picture being innocent children with good in their hearts trying to avoid the horrors found in an adult world. Boyle's signatures seen in Trainspotting and Millions are here along with his visions from somewhere across the globe last seen in The Beach. Speaking of The Beach, this story seems very akin to the material usually found in the novels of Alex Garland, the author The Beach, who struck a chord with Boyle in the late 90's. Equal parts Garland and Boyle, Slumdog borrows scenarios from everything from The Usual Suspects to Blood Diamond. Much like Diamond, you are forced to watch children thrust into horrible situations. Hold your breath. You are in for a ride....

Have you seen these?
What did you think?
I'm gonna need time to process as it has only been a couple of hours.
This is the rapid reaction.


Elizabeth Sloan said...

I haven't seen either of these yet, but they're both on my list. At this point, I hope to make it to the theater while they're still playing! Enjoyed your reviews....