Consumables #85

When was the last time we even talked about the pop cultural things and stuffs? According to my high tech tracking system (aka scrolling back) it looks like it was March. MARCH. For feck’s sake. I really need to get my act together.

What should we talk about? Movies? Even though, honestly, I can’t even remember all of the movies I have seen for the past three months? Whatevs- here are a few that come to mind.

The Lunchbox

A bittersweet story that doesn’t tip the scales into sappy-town. The premise comes out of the dabbawalla phenomenon in Mumbai, where an intricate system of messengers carries upwards of 200,000 lunches to office workers from their homes each day without any assistance from computers, mechanized sorting, or even complex notes. In the movie, an unhappily married woman who makes lunch for her husband each day mistakenly sends a lunch to an isolated widower. From this, they begin writing notes to each other and a friendship grows. It’s lovely and sad and heart-squeezy.

Grand Budapest Hotel

I think out of all the Wes Anderson movies I have seen (and I think I have pretty much seen them all), this one is the absolute most Wes Andersoniest of all. So if you are into the twee and the symmetry and the Anderson color palette and dollhouse sets and stylized fonts and such, you will be dipped in all of that like Augustus Gloop got dunked into the chocolate stream. I personally found it delightful, but I can see how it would bug the crap out of you if you didn’t want to go with it. Ralph Fiennes is super charming and thank goodness for that because I had forgotten he could be anything other than reptilian vein man with scary tendon arms Voldemort.

The Long Hot Summer

I adore young Paul Newman. Like, he is just so icy and so smoldery at the same time, and I cannot get enough of him. I have my go-to Paul Newman movies that I have seen a million times, but I hadn’t seen this one for some years so I gave it another look. Orson Welles is more than a little bit distracting with his slurry Foghorn Leghorn style southern gent he’s overplaying, so it’s not a great movie to me. But still, watching Newman and Joanne Woodward together, which would have been one year before they got hitched, is delicious. I am such a sucker for that.

That’s all I got for movies these days. Any movies you’ve seen that I should take a look at?

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5 comments

  1. I only knew Paul Newman as the kindly, old Newman’s Own guy until I saw The Long, Hot Summer when I was in high school. And it absolutely knocked me out. No one will ever compare–I feel like every few years, we liken some up and comer to Paul Newman and then that person ultimately just goes away.

    I may just need to rewatch–if only for the Paul Newman abs/pillow combo scene. 🙂

  2. Enough of that. Hey, LG, I don’t remember seeing “The Way Way Back” on your blog here, though I might have missed it. Toni Colette, Steve Carrell. I’ve been waiting for years for Sam Rockwell to play someone ABSOLUTELY good, like Jesus good. He so often plays creeps and he plays them so well that I’d almost given up hope. But I’ve always wanted to really like one of his characters. This is his movie. It’s good all the way through, but near the very end, Rockwell moves himself to the left about a foot. Just that. He doesn’t say anything, but it speaks the universe. We loved it.

    Another one just out is “Chef”. It’s fun and warmhearted, a good date movie for us (only date movie for us since “Philomena”, actually, which is another good one). No surprises, and I could pick apart the way all the little wisdoms that should just come into your mind through the writing and drama are explicitly stated out loud by the main character, but despite this the movie is lots of fun. It goes where it should, like I said, but it goes there in a pretty crisp style — and you’ll want to eat pork afterwards. For Robert Downey Jr.’s small contribution alone, “Chef” is worth the ticket.

    I’d be interested to hear what your take on these was, if you saw them. Cheers.

    1. Yes! I have seen “The Way Way Back” and I so totally agree about Rockwell. The other half of that equation is that Steve Carrell, who I find likable no matter how bad the movie or what the part is, finally gets a chance to be truly, wholly icky. It’s like they did a good/icky swapperoo.

      I have not yet seen Chef, nor Philomena (I know, what am I doing?) but I shall put them on the front burner. Thanks!

      1. Yes, The swap. I conveniently forgot how truly, deeply, sickly abusive Carrell’s role was. The line “hey buddy, that cooler isn’t gonna walk to the car by itself!” made me cringe and think of things that I’ve said to my own daughters that have shame-crap content in them. I hated that character because I worry that I may BE him, and I loved Rockwell’s because it’s what I aspire to. Give me a smartass hero and I’m good to go.

        “Philomena” — Same kind of thing; Steve Coogan finally plays not a total d-bag, which I’ve waited for for some time. But watch out; it’s a little preachy, not so much the script but just the whole topic and “based on a true story’-ness (especially in light of the recent news about the 800 babies’ bodies found buried in the cistern), so for me it sort of shot past my inner critic and went right for my righteous indignation to score the touchdown. I only realized this the next night when I saw the Coen’s “Inside Llewin Davis” a less heated, more subtle film that portrayed a (not necessarily likeable) character and his time and artistic world with fewer explicit evaluative statements. And if you haven’t seen ILD, and you love folk music, you should see it.

        Sorry I just hogged up your comment page. I had to.

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