Archives for posts with tag: margo martindale

In Main Street, Colin Firth is a Texan who works for a hazardous waste disposal company. His name is Gus Leroy. And this movie was made in 2010. I know, I don’t understand either.

In fact, for the whole movie, I just kept asking myself, “Why was this made into a movie? What is the point of any of this? Is any of the set-up going to pay off?”

It takes place in Durham, North Carolina, which for some reason is portrayed as a small Southern town of which no one has ever heard. Harris (Orlando Bloom) is a city cop whose high school sweetheart Mary (Amber Tamblyn) has essentially guilted him into going to law school so he can make something of himself. Margo Martindale is his mother; apparently there’s an estranged brother (named Peter) somewhere–but I’m not sure why, or why, for instance, Mary doesn’t know Peter’s name. Mary is fooling around with her caddish boss (Andrew McCarthy, for some reason), until she finds out he’s married, and then…decides to move to Atlanta. Harris agrees, for some reason, to drive her to the airport. Gus is renting a warehouse for his hazardous waste from Miss Georgiana (Ellen Burstyn), and seems quite squirrelly for a while until her niece (Patricia Clarkson’s Willa) arrives on the scene and sasses him into a conscience. Or maybe he already had it. You can’t tell.

I wish I had something clever to say about this movie. I’m not actually mad at it, but it is remarkable for inspiring basically no feelings other than a slightly irritated confusion. It doesn’t have a point. Perhaps it was trying to make a social, economic, or environmental statement, but it doesn’t. All of the romances, such as they are, are so wooden, talky, and vacuous that you just feel sorry for the people doomed to utter these lines. Like, this movie is a waste of Orlando Bloom’s talents. Let that sink in for a while.

Director: John Doyle
Rating: PG
Length: 92 min.
Score: 1/5.

This movie is basically Love Actually but sadder and more French. I had an actual post but managed to hit the backspace in the wrong field and so that’s all you get for now. Maybe I’ll update later.

Edited: Right, okay, I’m now less annoyed, and fortunately I remembered not to close the TextEdit window with my notes in it.

The framework of this movie: each of twenty directors gets five minutes and Paris. You get roughly what you’d expect out of these; in the Coen Brothers’ contribution, Steve Buscemi gets beat up in a métro station. There’s only the most half-hearted attempt to relate the stories to one another, and I think maybe I wish they’d not bothered. Anyway, I’ve seen more irritating love letters to Paris, and at least this one puts it out there with its title.

Since the movie is a bit fragmented, I’ll move straight to the stray observations. I won’t treat each vignette, because some of them are just too predictable and unmemorable (Gus Van Sant, I’m looking at you).

  • Unlike Love Actually, this film has people who are actually poor or desperately unlucky, not just amusingly bohemian Kris Marshall. Unsurprisingly, this is sad. In fact, one of my notes just says: “sad immigrant from Lagos oh my god so sad.”
  • A horrible French child with a pea-shooter annoys Steve Buscemi as well. The horrible French child is the best part of that sketch.
  • Juliet Binoche sure has a face for tragedy.
  • Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer visit Oscar Wilde’s grave in Père Lachaise. She accuses him of being humorless, although this is not true (his offering for that brilliant man’s last words–“Bury me under something ugly”–made me laugh out loud), because what she wants from a man is that he is so hilarious that he quotes Wilde all the time. I submit, honey, that you might be doing it wrong, romance-wise.
  • I hate mimes. And I know everyone hates mimes, but there’s a reason for that.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character is appearing in a period drama. I’d laugh, but I saw Hysteria, so it just isn’t funny.
  • When you hear English in a French film, it sounds slow and stilted. Native English speakers sound as though they have some sort of aphasia. It’s not quite as painful as a sudden American in a British movie.
  • I did not expect Olga Kurylenko to be my first doubled actor.

Director: Everybody ever; or: Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin & Gérard Depardieu, Emmanuel Benbihy, Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Joel & Ethan Coen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydès, Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas, Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro Suwa, Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant
Length: 120 min.
Rating: R, for not a lot of reason except maybe the swearing in the Coen Brothers bit
Score: 2/5? I found exactly one vignette touching (“Place des Fêtes”), a few pretty, and the Gurinder Chadha one (“Quais de Seine”) cute if fairy-tale. I’m not mad at it.