Movie Diary 2/2/2020

Making Mr. Right (Susan Seidelman, 1987). Someone in the household hadn’t seen this, so I figured giving it another look 33 years after writing a review would be all right. It’s a nice, odd movie, with lots of young Malkovich energy and Seidelman’s zany design sense.  Ed Lachman photographed. The plot is a screwball-comedy throwback, and at times Seidelman doesn’t seem to know how to make the jokes pop. Casting Ann Magnuson as the leading lady doesn’t quite come off, which slides into focus when zippier actors such as Glenne Headly (doing her spacey off-rhythm thing) or Laurie Metcalf (bringing the absolutely there Metcalf stuff already, in her second theatrical film – her first was Seidelman’s Smithereens) arrive on the scene. Even with some of the groan-worthy jokes, and the general sense of fumbling whatever timeframe the story is supposed to unfold in, there’s a generally pleasant feeling throughout. The only thing I really remembered was liking the ending, and I still like the ending.

I Lost My Body (Jeremy Clapin, 2019). One of the animated-feature nominees. Great title. Some very nice drifty-daydreamy stuff in the plot, and handsome urban visuals. But overall, maybe you have to like animation.

Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964). A re-visit to Hitchcock’s extremely peculiar, forceful movie, a very interesting look at trauma and its effects, and many other things. Sean Connery is quite animated here; you can’t say he didn’t give it a full go. Tippi Hedren is not really capable of the role’s demands, but interesting nonetheless. If every movie is actually a documentary about its making (did Godard say that?), this one seems to be about Hedren trying to escape a role she knows she isn’t up to.

The Peanut Butter Falcon (Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz, 2019). Another missed one from last year, about a man with Down Syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) who slips away from his care facility and lights out for the territory with a hard-luck fuckup (Shia LaBouef, overdoing it but not unpleasantly). A likable film, overall, without containing anything plausible. One note: It was weird watching this the night after Marnie, a film in which the precipitating event involves Bruce Dern’s misbehavior toward Tippi Hedren’s character. This film begins with Dern interacting with Hedren’s real-life granddaughter, Dakota Johnson, and you just want to tell her to run for her life.

 

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