Thoroughbreds should totally have been my jam, high school girls with a side of murder, but it didn’t quite work for me. I needed it to be either darker or camp, & it played it too safe. I dig both actresses, Olivia Cooke from Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (which Film Twitter hated but I loved because I will always cheer on too-rare girl-boy friendship stories) & Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch. Also, the score & sound design was terrific.
It reminded me a lot of Lady Macbeth, another murderous young lady movie which I wanted to love but found too clinical. (It occurs to me now that Anton Yelchin is the Naomi Ackie of Thoroughbreds, in his case the more unlikely moral center.)
Also, a warning on Thoroughbreds: A horse is killed in the movie. We don’t see it, but we hear a pretty intense description.
I didn’t grow up reading A Wrinkle in Time* because I didn’t read fantasy as a kid, so I don’t have that childhood emotional attachment to the material, but it’s a film where I can see all the flaws and basically I don’t care. It has a big heart and it made me cry and when Oprah tells Meg she can do it, she just chooses not to, it knocked me into next week.
The second season of Jessica Jones – of which I have two or three episodes left – is somewhat slow to start, but I like that it gives characters room to breathe. However, with the exception of episode 7, most of this season has the Netflix problem of episodes not ending so much as stopping. It’s still notable to me to have a season like this where all the action is driven by women. We’ll see how I feel when I’m finished.
Speaking of action being driven by women, there exists in this world Take My Wife! And we can all watch it! I missed it when it was on SeeSo because I just can’t bring myself to subscribe to a service for a single title (especially since I’m never home), and then SeeSo went away and I was overwhelmed with guilt, but NOW both seasons are available and I’m doling them out verrrry slooowwwly. As in, it’s been out for almost two weeks but I’ve only seen two episodes. I adore it, though. Obviously, because I’m a fan of Cameron & Rhea, but also just because it’s really funny and sharp and true.
On to FilmStruck! First up, These Three, about two friends who graduate college, head off to a farm one has inherited, start a girls school, & endure a scandal which ensues because young girls are basically demons. In the intro, the host said it was adapted from a play where they’re girlfriends, and *that’s* the scandal, but that all of the gay had been stripped from it for the film, as now it’s a love triangle with Joel McCrea, but I am here to tell you…it is still pretty gay. There’s a confession scene near the end where Miriam Hopkins tells Merle Oberon “I loved him” & I swear to god I had to rewind it because I was so convinced she had said “I love you”.
I was also weirdly charmed by Dear Heart, a film where Geraldine Page is a spinster visiting NYC for the postmaster convention & makes an honest man out of the philandering Glenn Ford. It’s worth it for her alone, purely delighted by everything about being in a fancy hotel in the big city. More goofball romances about older-than-your-usual romantic heroines, please.
* Yes, I have read it now, not that it matters. Related: a hearty fuck you to everyone who tries to shame people for not having read a particular book. That’s not how it works. If you really want someone to read something, recommend it enthusiastically. If you really want to feel superior for having read it yourself, shut the fuck up immediately.