14 December 2016

Life During Wartime

Life During Wartime 2009
  • Director: Todd Solondz
  • Based on novel: by no
  • Cast: Shirley Henderson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Dylan Riley Snyder, Ciarán Hinds, Paul Reubens, Emma Hinz, Charlotte Rampling, Ally Sheedy
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Shirley Henderson – Filth, Doctor Who, Shakespeare Re-Told The Taming of the Shrew, Harry Potter, Tristram Shandy, 24 Hour Party People, Topsy-Turvy, Trainspotting, Rob Roy
    • Michael Kenneth Williams – The Road, The Wire, Gone Baby Gone, The Sopranos, Bringing Out the Dead
    • Allison Janney – The Help, Juno, The Hours, American Beauty, 10 Things I Hate about You, The Ice Storm
    • Ciarán Hinds – The Woman in Black, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, Hustle, Margot at the Wedding, Hallam Foe, Amazing Grace, The Calendar Girls, Road to Perdition, Titanic Town, Jane Eyre, Cold Lazarus, Mary Reilly, Excalibur
    • Charlotte Rampling – Melancholia, Never Let Me Go, Great Expectations, Lemming
  • Why? sequel to Happiness
  • Seen: 9 December 2016 

Happiness was a very strange movie but I liked it. It was about anything but happiness.
If anything, this one is even weirder. I can’t find words. The opening scene: Omar (from The Wire, Williams, here called Alan) in a restaurant with his wife Moaning Myrtle of the Harry Potter films (Henderson, here called Joy). Alan tells her that he has stopped doing perverted things. Well, almost. He only does them on Sundays.
A mother (Janney) tells her ten-year-old son about her sexual arousal with a new gentleman friend.
A rough looking character (Hinds) is getting out of prison.
What is this? I don’t know if I’m meant to remember Happiness (same characters, different actors). After a while it starts coming back. Three sisters who love and hate each other. Suicide, paedophilia, homophobia. The stories weave in and out.
The cast is a mix of very good actors and the acting, for all the deliberate stiltedness and melodrama, is fascinating. The result is an odd mix of the tragic, the absurd, and the silly. For me it doesn’t quite work. But the acting is so unusual, therefore

3 * of 5

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