Charlie Kaufman films have a particular feeling to them. Weird isn’t the right word. Unique is a good one. Idiosyncratic is another. Netflix has a string of movies they’ve released where they seem to have backed a dump truck full of money onto the lawn of a filmmaker and then set them loose to make whatever they’re going to make. For better or for worse, in these cases, we seem to end up with films that are very much their filmmakers’ films.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a very Charlie Kaufman movie. Starting with the simplest of setups –a young woman and her boyfriend take a road trip to his parent’s house during a snowstorm– and slowly but surely expanding to ruminate on ideas of self, relationships, memory, fantasy, quantum physics, family, and great poets, among other things.
If you’re into Charlie Kaufman, this movie is definitely for you.
The Film Festival is a busy time, and I want to make sure that every film gets its due, so in an effort to catch up, here are quick reviews of four films I saw at VIFF but hadn’t had enough time to write about.
It’s been a long four years since Man of Steel premiered and started the new DCEU shared universe. It has been a universe of muted colours and asshole heroes, and one that has been hard to be optimistic about future entries in, but I am happy to report that Wonder Woman is a great movie and that you should definitely see it.
The Theory of Everything has all the right ingredients to be a major award contender. It’s a period set drama that has happened within our lifetimes, it has some great talent in the main roles, and it’s about a world-famous scientist who everyone loves. Sometimes a film comes together to be more than the sum of its ingredients. Other times, like this time, it doesn’t.
The Theory of Everything isn’t bad though, it’s just that it suffers from all the problems that biopics tend to suffer from and the two great central performances aren’t quite enough to elevate the film above that.
Eddie Redmayne & Felicity Jones star as Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane and how they met in University. Until this moment I hadn’t heard about this movie, or known much about Hawking’s life before the Hawking we all think of today. It’s being released in the US on November 7th. I’m putting it at a dark horse Oscar contender for best actor.
Also starring David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Emily Watson (Punch-Drunk Love), Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) & Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones).