Sils Maria

 

As I work on putting together my TIFF line-up today, I realize that there is an unexpected benefit that will come with dialling down my festival this year. For starters, I’ll have the time and energy to spend September catching up on the small indie August releases that I managed to miss (like HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE and HELL OR HIGH WATER). What’s more, I won’t feel any guilt or misgivings about those September or October releases that I get tempted to see during the festival.

Everybody wins!
#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with TALLULAH directed by Sian Heder.

 

Just this week, a Twitter feed I follow dedicated to women in film asked its followers if they could name a film directed by a woman who takes an unconventional look at motherhood. Had I seen it at the time, I would have mentioned TALLULAH.

While flawed, TALLULAH is a pretty intense look at the messed-up feelings that can weave themselves into the fabric of parenthood. It’s a story that isn’t afraid to point out that parenthood can bring about complicated emotions in the parents. Listening to the way the two mothers speak in this film – and then adding in the third surrogate mother – one really gets the impression that parenting can send the average woman for a pretty hard loop…and that remains something we as a society remain hesitant to admit.

That all three of the protagonists struggle with the idea in some way or another actually makes this a difficult film; it pretty much leaves us with nobody to root for. So we end up rooting for karma itself to settle everything down. We want life to smooth the edges for us, to put everything in its right place. We want goodness to be redeemed and bad to be punished. We want love – familial love, in this case – to conquer all.

And yet, even when the dust settles, we leave this film uneasy. We leave it wondering Carolyn will really get a grip on what it means to be a mother, or whether Margo will be able to get herself sorted as a divorced wife and a mother of a runaway.

Movies like this are an interesting inclusion when putting together a watching series because while it might not entirely work, it leaves so much to consider. It reminds us that life itself is messy; that bad people get rewarded and good people can fuck-up. It underlines that parenthood is the beginning of something in us, and not the finish line…and does it all with messy and rustic brushstrokes.

 

Here’s the week at hand…
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS – Laika, you officially have my money anytime you decide to make a film.
INDIGNATION – This is the sort of counter-programming I was looking for all summer. Where has this been hiding?

 
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
BIG EYES – If I took Tim Burton’s name out of the credits, you’d never know he directed this. That’s not a compliment.
PAPER TOWNS – The book this is based on turns up on Bookstagram a lot, so I fugred I’d save myself 300 pages of curiosity.
NOW AND THEN – I wish Ashleigh Aston Moore hadn’t passed away. I would have loved to have seen this film remade with the juvenile actresses edited in as their older selves.
SMASHED – Why Ramona Flowers, you wild girl!
TALLULAH – But what if gravity just stopped working one day?

 
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
DUEL – Remember that Spielberg movie I said I was watching last week on the ninth anniversary of this site?
STRANGER THAN FICTION – “Hey Lindsay, do you feel like baking?”

 

Boxscore for The Year
159 First-Timers, 100 Re-Watched
49 Screenings
259 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?