Have I told you that my movie tastes have changed a lot in the last few years? I find that my go-to genre is now independent dramas. At least when I’m watching a movie by myself. I think I like different things depending on if I am watching it by myself or with other people. My interests have shifted more to movies that feel more like real life and where I don’t feel like I can predict the ending from the first fifteen minutes. I have found that independent films are more likely to be that. I have also found that they tend to make me feel more than main stream, big box movies. I mean, nothing against bigger hollywood-y movies (you’ve heard me rave about Arrival), but independent films more consistently pack an emotional punch for me.
And sometimes that emotional punch is what I am after. I have realized that watching movies that make me feel strong things (especially sadness) is a very cathartic experience for me. Sometimes I can be an emotion-bottler and I just need something to help me let them all out. Sometimes what I really need is to watch a sad movie by myself and cry.
I don’t tend to watch a lot of movies. I’ll usually opt for a tv show in my downtime because I never feel like I have enough time to dedicate to a movie. A tv show seems like less of a commitment even though I usually end up watching it for at least as long as a movie would have been. But I have watched a couple movies lately and I thought I would tell you about them. Also I really love pulling movie stills into blog posts. I used to do it all the time back when I blogged in University (I went on a bit of a movie blogging spree back then).
Okay, so here are the three movies I watched in the last week. Rust and Bone and Obvious Child I had not seen before, Celeste and Jesse Forever is old favourite.
Rust and Bone
So remember that book of short stories I told you about where the guy gets his leg bitten off by an orca and the author repeatedly refers to the femur as the tibia and so I stopped reading it? Well, this movie is a combination of two of the short stories from that book. They took one character from two seperate stories and put them into the same story. I don’t know if I told you when I was telling you about the book, I think I focused pretty hard on the “I don’t like these stories” angle, but the first story in the book was absolutely beautiful and I loved it. It went downhill after that. This movie is about the boxer from that first story and the whale trainer from the orca story. In the book they are both males, but they made the whale trainer a female in the movie.
I have had this movie on my to-watch list on Netflix for at least a year. One time I got to where I was going to watch it, realized it was in French and decided I didn’t have the brain power for a subtitle movie and left it.
I really love Marion Cotillard. At least from the movies I have seen so far. Here character in this movie is pretty intense. The whole movie is pretty intense. She loses both her legs at the knee in an accident during a orca show. In the book, the orca straight up bites the guy’s leg off. The movie is a lot less clear. All you really know is that there was an accident and she wakes up in a hospital room with both of her legs gone.
The other character is a boxer who is newly in custody of his five year old son and who moves to France to live with his sister. His story is a bit different from the book. In the book it is his nephew, I think, not his son. The boy spends a day with him, they are playing on a frozen lake, the boy falls through the ice. The boxer breaks most of the bones in his hands trying to punch through the ice to save him. He manages to pull him out. He has no career options other than fighting, so he continues to box but his hands never really heal and the bones constantly re-break. In the movie, the accident still happens, but not until the very end of the story. I think it has something to do with the fact that they wanted to intertwine the two stories. They sort of introduce the boxer as a character who helps the whale trainer to cope after her accident. Then she kind of becomes that same thing for him in the end.
This movie is intense though. And has a R rating (for good reason), so bear that in mind if you decide to watch it. However, if it make you feel better, that rating is not for the orca incident. I was pretty nervous about having to watch an orca bite a leg off. But don’t worry, you don’t have to see that. As I said above, the whole scene is pretty vague and they film it to feel chaotic and like it would be if you were actually there. You don’t really know what’s happening and you can’t really see what’s going on. I think they might have been going more for just a generally traumatic injury that led to amputation and not an animal attack at all. There are however a few scenes with orcas that are a bit chilling simply because there are orcas in them. If you aren’t weirdly afraid of orcas, they probably won’t bother you at all.
I was looking through the Independent Films section of Netflix and trying to pick something to watch. You know how you spend an hour trying to pick a movie to watch, then get frustrated and just watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine reruns? Well, I was still in the browsing section of that schedule and I was trying to read the description for this movie when I accidentally clicked play. I was about to try to cancel it and go back to my browsing, then I decided, “meh, why not this one?” and just let it play.
I really like this genre of movie. Also Jenny Slate is hella compelling. I had only seen her in sitcoms before (Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine – both times she played slightly crazy girlfriends). I loved her in this. She was charming and funny and real and it kind of made me want to be her best friend. The movie also deals with some heavier things. It is a balance of heavy and light. I think I will watch this one again before I give any real opinions other than that Jenny Slate is funny and cool.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
I don’t know if I have ever talked to you about this movie before. It’s quite likely that I have mentioned it, but probably just in passing.
This movie breaks my heart. Something in my chest actually hurts when I watch it.
I’m writing this and then I stop and read it and it sounds kind of cheesy and it frustrates me that I can’t write it better. I wish that I could write words about how I feel that come out as beautiful as I want them to. Sometimes I feel things so strongly that it hurts. You have heard me try to describe something that I think is beautiful before. I think I try to compensate for not having the right words by using a lot of words. The more I feel, the more I say. I am trying so hard to communicate what I feel in a way that you might see it and feel it to be as beautiful as I do.
This movie is nothing particularly special. I think you would like it but it wouldn’t blow your mind or anything. It is sad. But not in a cheesy, depressing way. More in a ‘life sucks sometimes and you can’t go back and change things’ kind of way. In that kind of way that makes a story beautiful. Because it’s real and sad and you wish that just a few things would be different and that there would be one of those happy endings where everything comes together against all odds but it doesn’t because life isn’t like that.
Also I am Celeste.
Maybe that’s why it makes me feel so much. The main characteristic I relate to is easily summed up by a question she is asked about halfway through the movie: “well do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
It’s one of those stories that lingers. I couldn’t care less about most of the happenings and ins and outs of the movie. It is the characters that linger and the emotions that they experience and force me to experience. That sometimes we realize too late that we are wrong. And sometimes there is nothing we can do to change something even though everything inside us is screaming that it should have ended differently. That we should be able to fix it. But it’s too late and our chance is gone. And life is long but also short. We have this idea that our life will always work out in the end; that what should happen will happen. But sometimes that isn’t enough and even though we believe something should be a certain way, it won’t ever be. Even though we are right.
Near the end of the movie, Celeste has a line that is one of my favourite lines from any movie ever. It is simple and it perfectly sums up this story:
“You don’t always have to be right, even if you are.”