MMI: Killing Them Softly
If you hear people say Killing them Softly is "too political", these people don’t know what they’re talking about. The film isn’t BEING political. It’s recreating the political situation surrounding the 2008 Financial Crisis. Every character in the movie is representative of a real life group. I’m not going to tell you who is who. Watch it and see for yourself. But Brad Pitt is the 21st Century American Spirit (and if you think the last line doesn’t embody the current American Spirit, you’re crazy) (and if you think the last line is insulting, you’re crazy). The guys at the poker games: the 1%. The guys that do the robbing are the ones that got us into the subprime mortgage crisis with their stupid plan that was bound to fail. It’s all there. If you’ve watched the movie, re-watch the movie. If you haven’t watched the movie, do so. It is, as far as I’m concerned, the best movie of 2012. Its style. Its story. Its acting. Its moments. Its commentary. But it’s also the most misunderstood film of 2012. You’ll hear me ranting about this for years and years, until people finally give it the credit it deserves.
Cinema Beans: To Rome with Love
To Rome With Love is a misunderstood film because pretty much everyone who bashed it saw it as “just another Woody Allen film.” It’s fair to say Allen—who has made a film every year for about forty years now—has fallen off his A-game and is susceptible to writing a mediocre film for the sake of keeping up his streak. But the quality isn’t what’s in question here. People mistake the declination of his films (in comparison to Annie Hall and Husbands and Wives) with ambition, which is NEVER in short supply for the aging filmmaker. And that’s never been more apparent than with To Rome WIth Love, which I wrote an entire piece about regarding how Allen had both penned a unique bedroom farce and—GASP—a metafilm. Let’s not mistake Allen’s first prominent acting role in years as pure coincidence. Practically playing himself, Allen attempts to coach Giancarlo for a career in opera, and the manner in which he dictates Giancarlo’s actions directly correlates with the other sub-stories’ trajectories.
Now I could sit here and list out ALL of the instances where this parallel is so abundantly clear (which I’ve already done (which contains more work, thought, and understanding than I read in a single “review” on Rotten Tomatoes)), but for now I’ll just rest on Judy Davis’ (who plays Allen’s wife) quote: “You equate retirement with death.” And then to quote myself:
“In what is pretty much the most meta moment of the film, we see a man who isn’t guided by creating another Annie Hall or Manhattan, but a workaholic who’s seen it all and made it all, can't stop making movies for the life of him, and owns the self-awareness to step back and recognize past mistakes—a true sign of a great filmmaker that won't stop until the day he dies.”