13 September 2008

Film review

Technically, "daily" writing doesn't include weekends. (fyi / btw).

However, last night I went to see an affecting film called Savage Grace. I don't know if here in Amsterdam we are getting an incredibly far-behind film release, or if we are ahead of you Australian readers on this one. If you have a spare Friday evening, and it hasn't come out, I'd say yes, go, it's an interesting piece of cinema. It's got gorgeous on-location shots in Spain and France and it has Julianne Moore doing a spectacular job of playing a very deranged woman with a lot of screen time. I've liked her ever since she did a whole scene in the movie Short Cuts where she was giving her husband a fierce verbal serve, but she was just wearing her dress shirt for dinner and was naked from the waist down. Classic funny but serious scene.

The humor in last night is that I suggested the film to someone on a kind of "friend date". You know what they are - when you're an adult who's passed their early 20s and you're in a situation where you need to make new friends, but you need a more structured way to do it, as sitting the park drinking cask wine with a dozen other friends and acquaintances just doesn't cut it anymore. So you do this weird awkward thing with people (often of your own gender, but whatever) where you suggest some activity like a gallery visit or a movie, and it's a bit like a date, but kind of worse because you aren't concerned about sleeping with them, you just want to be able to hang out.

Anyway, so I jumped online to see what arty (English language) films are playing in Amsterdam, and only briefly skimmed the description of this one. I saw that is was a period film, the review included something like .. "a look back at the mannered and shallow life of high society in the post-war period". And thought "oh that looks okay, you know, light" and didn't continue reading because I don't like to know too much about a film before sitting down in the dark.

So I'll try not to give away the whole thing. What emerges is a very startling and uncomfortable set of relationships between family members. To the point where the whole of the small heritage cinema was just dead quiet, and I just looked over at my film buddy and just raised my eyebrows, to imply "what the??". There's two scenes in particular that are just excruciating. You know where your eyes want to look away but you've got to keep them pointing at the screen to appear like a grown up. So as the lights went up, for I felt compelled to explain "really, I had no idea that was going to turn out like that, honest". (oh my god what if she thinks I'm a pervy freak). But we went to have a post-movie drink, so the date didn't go totally bad.

1 comment:

J said...

Hilarious. You poor thing. Reminds me of a work friend who told me how her partners parents were visiting from their home (country a long way away) and meeting for her the first time. On their visit she suggests outdoor cinema. The only thing on is 'The Savages' - which she didn't realise was about a slightly dysfunctional family putting their old dad into a nursing home. Quelle horreur!! She apologized at the end and told them she had no idea, but felt embarrassed even apologising as that admitted that there were similarities. Nightmare.