…and the quest to see everything

2012: All Yesterday’s Drafts…Today!

I’m probably breaking some privacy honour code by telling everyone that me and Andrew Kendall have an electronic correspondence. He revealed just as much before. Anyway, in these e-mails he revealed that he has seen movies that he hasn’t bothered to write about or to publish. I intended to write the next few posts to encourage him to start on those posts or press enter on others, but I think that I needed that motivation myself. I’ve actually finished writing these like six weeks ago but I haven’t pressed enter myself, or vowed not to until the number of posts I had on Tumblr has threatened to exceed the ones I had here. Well, that day has fucking come.

After he has sent the e-mail, which was in August, by the way, he already reviewed a few on his list, including Bachelorette and The Five Year Engagement. I haven’t seen both even if I’m pretending to like the former and I’ve downloaded the latter. He’s also seen Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, Josh Trank’s Chronicle, and Jennifer Westfeld’s Friends with Kids. Chronicleis also a 2012 favourite of another Andrew who is close to my mind, Andrew Parker. Check both people’s reviews out! So anyway,

I missed Damsels in Distress during TIFF and its theatrical release. The dialogue here is infuriating yet familiarly hilarious, especially since it’s coming from Greta Gerwig, who is both sunny and robotic as this myopic overachiever. Her performance as Violet easily comes in as one of the best…forty performances in the past two years. A leader of a suicide prevention group in a college, Gerwig’s character Violet recruits Analeigh Tipton‘s character into the former’s fold. Stillman’s dialogue leads to some good laughs, mostly derived from Violet being unable to grasp regular American colloquialism. One of my favourites again reminding me of Dogville, when Tipton asks Gerwig whether the latter was being arrogant. The sun perfectly hits the two characters as they walk down campus, ironically and intentionally brightening what could be a passive aggressive conversation. One of this year’s great acting moments come from her when she defends her group to that smarmy guy from In the Loop/”The Office” sounding both like an affected fool and a wounded puppy.

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After being awkward in Crazy, Stupid Love, it’s also nice to see Tipton playing a normal girl. She tiptoes the lines of condescension although that doesn’t stop Violet of accusing her of that anyway. Her supposed normalcy eventually disappears as she hangs out with Violet too many times and adopts the latter’s unshaped ideology. Tipton’s character, however, isn’t the only one who changes since both she and Violet meet a ‘playboy’ (Brody) in a college bar that looks nicer than most college bars I’ve been to. The movie’s quirky tone doesn’t hide the fact that it’s probably just about which girl will the playboy hook up with. The movie also stars Audrey Plaza and Heather Burns as Violet’s projects, the latter more enthusiastic and malleable than the other.

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One response

  1. Love this. Not just because it’s the push I need. “Damsels in Distress” is such a lovely weird movie and Gerwig is so on point. I love your mention of her being “sunny and robotic as this myopic overachiever.” Violet is such a bizarre creation, one of my favourite throwaway lines – “He’s lying. I find that very attractive.” Which is one the Stillman lines that doesn’t pop when you read, but her inflection is ace.

    (Also “Playboy operator!”

    December 7, 2012 at 7:36 am

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