Popcorn Anyone…

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Last weekend we feasted on a popcorn doubleheader.

I can cross Nebraska and Her off the pre-Oscar bucket list. Her is a techno fairy tale about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his Siri-like OS (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). 

Joaquin Phoenix is very believable, but his character, Theodore, is just not my type of guy. I refer my men to be men.

her-poster

 Crying in a movie or over a New York Giants loss, getting in touch with your feminine side at appropriate intervals is fine, but Her brought to mind the desire to strike out as in the scene in Moonstruck when Cher slaps Nicholas Cage and says, “Snap Out of it.”

And let us not allow those unflattering high-waisted pants to go unnoticed. The look is considered retro-futurism and Jonze’s design team consisted of the founder of the hip store, Open Ceremony, where a line of clothing, featuring the high-waisted pants is on sale now. If that is futuristic fashion, let’s hope the GAP stays in business. 

I admire the way the movie was shot and appreciate the films quirkiness, but Her is more compelling as an idea than a script. If this is the future of relationships I will just sit pat in the 21st century. I  want to be able to spoon my partner not my computer operating system. 

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Nebraska is a black and white road trip to perfection. What a great film, with such authentic and touching performances. I actually felt as if I viewed the film in color because the performances were so rich.

Who knew that Will Forte from SNL and 30 Rock is such a wonderful actor. We have traditionally seen him as a talented goofball, but he sure makes a flawless transition with his portrayal of a son’s complex love for a impossible parent.

Bruce Dern and June Squibb
Bruce Dern and June Squibb

The mother, played by June Squibb, has a potty mouth of pure unfiltered honesty…my kind of woman. The film vibrates with energy when she is on screen. Squibb gives an incredibly real and relatable performance. Bruce Dern conveys so much with minimal dialogue, speaking volumes through his gait, carriage and craggy face. The 77-year old’s performance is remarkable and memorable.

I am a fan of director Alexander Payne’s films and thoroughly enjoy and admire his work including, Sideways, The Descendants, Election, and Finding Schmidt. Perhaps, having grown up in Omaha, Nebraska, he has the ability to make movies about the average person and can take simple human stories and make them into great films that people can identify with.

Everything in life comes back to relationships, whether they be real or imagined, intimate or familial. Nebraska is about the classic nuclear family. Her spoke to a near future with virtual relationships.

Director Spike Jonze’s romantic saga is inventive and intimate. He does raise intriguing questions about alienation and how we connect or don’t with our fellow humans. A subject which fascinates me.

Nebraska like August: Osage County (read my recent review at: (http://ifthedevilhadmenopause.com/family/)speaks to the brittle reality and nuances of ties that bind our families.

Popcorn, anyone?!

 

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