First, some old business. I forgot last time to mention that (despite the fact that I was thoroughly entertained by Pacific Rim Uprising) if you want to see a genuinely interesting and creative monster-vs-robot movie, you should watch Colossal. I wrote about it (arguably spoilery, but I also have arguments about *that*) over here.
And now, on with April!
Silent Movie Mondays returned with The Patsy, the first in a five-week series of films under the theme “Leading Ladies”. The Patsy was an utter blast, a laugh-out-loud film that made me grateful it was silent – you don’t miss lines to audience laughter when they’re on intertitles! It stars Marion Davies as the little sister with her eye on her big sister’s beau, & features impeccable comic timing on all fronts: cast, script, even the timing of intertitles themselves. Such a treat to see with an audience.
Also great to see with an audience for the complete opposite reason? A Quiet Place, which I had too much to say about, so it has a dedicated post over here.
My favorite film for this batch is Outside In, and I wrote about that over here.
Next up at Silent Movie Mondays was A Woman of the World, which was far more comic than I had anticipated. It’s the story of a European countess, unlucky in love, who comes to visit her relations in the US (their last name is “Poore”!) It stars Pola Negri as the countess, & features a prominent (& regretted) tattoo, an unexpected whip, and a cup with a mustache guard. We were delighted.
We were not delighted with The Miracle Season. It is not a good movie, which is too bad, because there are not enough girl sports movies in general. (By the way you should go read this anniversary look back at Bend It Like Beckham & then go watch Bend It Like Beckham again because it’s perfect.)
Anyway, The Miracle Season is based on a true story about a volleyball team that rallied to win state a second year in a row to honor their captain who died at the start of the season. This makes you feel like a garbage person when the performance of Danika Yarosh as Caroline is just too much. Was the real Line like that, doing anything she pleased in the name of adventure and flashing a bright smile and swishing her perfect blonde hair to get out of it? The image of corn-fed privilege? Maybe, but it’s hard to believe she was so genuinely and widely beloved if that was the case.
Aside from the irritating character we’re supposed to love and then desperately miss, it’s just pure white heteronormative cheese. And we definitely were misty-eyed at best through much of the movie so make of that what you will, but it probably has a lot to do with William Hurt being gruff. And Helen Hunt being gruff too.
At home I don’t know what I was watching. A lot of murders, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Which, okay. That’s technically another murder too. I haven’t seen all of the “live” musicals (if only once, for the love, we could get them live on the West Coast too!) but I’ve seen most of them, and Jesus Christ Superstar is the best one to date. It benefited from a deep bench of Broadway casting, a live audience, and creatively embracing the single stage location (including shots that were truly *shots*, visuals set up for the camera, not just caught in coverage).
Again, don’t miss the standalone posts on A Quiet Place and Outside In.