Tossing and turning and trying to sleep, a massive headache crept in. Since I could not get rid of the headache or fall asleep, I watched a bunch of films, such as:
- The Governess: not new – I avoided it at the time of its release because I was irrationally against Minnie Driver – about whom I have since changed my mind. Bonus – Tom Wilkinson is in The Governess.
- War Witch (Rebelle): Pretty devastating film about a girl whose village is destroyed by rebel soldiers. She is kidnapped to become a child soldier. The film is not set somewhere specific but was filmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On a sort of unrelated note, the soundtrack was spectacular.
- Starbuck: A French-Canadian thing about a guy whose prolific sperm donations spawned 500+ offspring, of which more than 100 have formed a class-action lawsuit to force the adoption agency to release their biological father’s identity. His pseudonym through this process is “Starbuck”. Starbuck is a hapless, middle-aged guy, in debt up to his eyeballs and working for the family business, seemingly stuck in a rut he’ll never get out of. Once he knows he is the father of all these people, he begins intervening in some of their lives, and his small acts of kindness start to change his life. All in all, not a bad movie, and it is perfect evidence of how strange French Canadian sounds if you’re used to French French. People say French French is nasal, but this is nasal and whiny somehow.
- Upstream Color: Unusual film, non-linear narrative. Not even sure how to describe it, and not sure whether I liked it or not.
- About Sunny: Remembering Lauren Ambrose from Six Feet Under, it is interesting to see her evolve into this challenging portrayal of a single mother who is neither all good nor all bad – but in her struggle as one of America’s working poor, she is always one step away from a disaster.
- Arcadia: John Hawkes can be counted on for wide-eyed likeability. He is much less sympathetic in Arcadia, as a man taking his three children across the country to California. By the end of the film, you do gain some sympathy for what the character has gone through – but he’s not the same character we’ve seen in his portrayals of the hapless shoe salesman in Me and You and Everyone We Know or Sol Star in HBO’s Deadwood. Of course Hawkes has a great range. There is actually a balance among all his roles – sometimes he acts in a sleazy, slimy way; sometimes he is a lovable, likeable guy. (Other notable performances include Winter’s Bone and The Sessions).
- Zodiac: A long docu-drama about the Zodiac killer, who terrorized California in the late 60s and 70s. Great to see Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. and tons of other great actors.
- Talhotblond: Documentary about people talking — and lying about who they are – online, ending up in one person’s death. It seems crazy – I remember being about 12 or 13 and lying elaborately about my age in order to talk to older people – and to escape the daily reality of my life at the time (this was the pre-internet age). Of course I was 12. Not that that makes it excusable, but I think a kid does not realize the impact these actions might result in. People in the film are adults with life experience and should know better. The people in this documentary are in their 40s. It is quite similar to another documentary I saw (Catfish), which tells almost the same kind of story – without any lethal outcomes.