So, I’m on a movie jag at the moment, and I feel the need to throw this one out there because I’m so perplexed! I cannot understand the wave of bile this film attracted. I didn’t have any expectations, but it’s a shitload better than the trailer suggested it would be. Let’s shortcut the whole thing and say it like this: maybe we need more female reviewers. Yes, ennui isn’t always attractive or sympathetic, but the film isn’t pretending that it is for a second. The main character’s mum wants her out of the house, for god’s sake! (Actually, on that, I really liked what was done with the mum, and also the strange, manipulative, loyalty-testing triangle happening between main character, Leigh, and her mum and her dad). I think Leigh’s character was refreshing. She doesn’t do stoicism, or even angst. She’s selfish, and daydreams instead of watching over kids at her pool, and yes, that’s bad, but why can’t her CHARACTER do it? Why do female characters always have to be responsible? I’m pretty sure the boys in a Judd Apatow type flick mightn’t notice a kid drowning either.

The other thing was, I thought her getting involved with someone too young was handled really well – not comically or tritely, at all. Shit gets real. Each character eventually realises that going forward in life is their only option, and that, of itself, is hardly startling, but definitely handled in a way that feels authentic and fresh.

Oh, a side note. The sex scenes are so well done – another reason why we need more women behind cameras. Actually what we need is for Salma Hayek to run Hollywoodland. (Read her thoughts on things here, if you haven’t already).

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Danielle Binks

    I didn’t mind this movie either. Something I still remember from the film (because I thought it was so well done) was the story of the pet tiger that was the last straw for Bell’s character. Yes, yes – it’s got symbolism out the wazoo – but I got quite teary in that scene where she’s running her fingers along the claw marks.

    And I agree about the sex scenes – have you watched or been watching the TV show ‘Outlander’? I tell you what; you only realise how prominent the male gaze really is when you start seeing sex translated through the female gaze.

    1. Kirsty

      Yes to Outlander! Thank God for Outlander. Also, I was glad I’d read the first book before I watched it, because it’s a good adaptation and that’s always nice to appreciate. And I was so glad that they handled Clare’s character well – letting her be strong, but not making her into a kickarse superhero type. Much to thank Outlander for … K xo

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