Once upon a time, it would take months and months for the general moviegoing public to catch-up with the winner of the winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize. Titles would often be held back until summer, sometimes even the fall. Rollout was usually slow and staggered, trying to stoke word-of-mouth.
This year though, the bearer of the blue ribbon got picked-up by Netflix and put on-demand immediately. Times change, right? It’s funny, I remember seeing someone on Twitter say that they didn’t want to watch the toast of Sundance on Netflix…which gave me thoughts of BEASTS OF NO NATION.
But, then I sat down and watched I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE…and can only say that I am quite happy I didn’t see this film in a theatre, since I don’t know how in the world this was the festival’s top dog.
The film is something of a nod to films like FALLING DOWN, where the everyday annoyances that piss all of us off are brought front and centre. Dogs shit on lawns, 16 grocery items are placed on 10-0r-less conveyors, endings of books are spoiled. Then our heroine’s home is broken into, and she decides to take it upon herself to chase down what was stolen from her. Calamity ensues.
The film is fine: nothing specifically wrong with it, but also nothing to write home about…and there we have the problem. A movie this lauded should be the sort of thing that is affecting, the sort of thing that will change the perception of films watched immediately before and after. The selection doesn’t need to be perfect, but it really should say something about where we are in early 2017 (if not where we were in late 2016).
In the past few years, this badge of honour has gone to THE BIRTH OF A NATION, WHIPLASH, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, and FRUITVALE STATION.
Even when they weren’t game-changers, they would at least leave an impression.
So into that, we get I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE, which not only feels like a case of “Festival Goggles”…but it casts those goggles towards the problems of one more middle American white woman. Not the sort that have been largely ignored by the march of time in America (like those in AMERICAN HONEY or WINTER’S BONE), but the sort who can be found in just about any multiplex this film would have played at.
Were there no films directed by women? No stories about people of colour? Hell, were there no great films by people of colour? Any stories of immigrants? LGBTQ? Anything??
I’m not saying that it has to check any or all of these boxes to qualify (My beloved TIFF, after all, honoured LA LA LAND)…but if your festival does want to honour a film like this, maybe think a bit harder about how your tale of white folk will play when the festival ends and the red carpet is rolled up.
Here’s the week at hand…
PERSONAL SHOPPER – A Matineecast about this one is coming soon.
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE – Letdown. Pure and simple.
BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT – Who knew this series would remain relevant?
WAIT UNTIL DARK – I do love me those old-school thrillers.
JANE GOT A GUN – Can I see Lynne Ramsay’s version?
JONAH HEX – Damn. Even Lynne Ramsay couldn’t have helped this
TICKLED – Ahhh, so THAT’S what y’all were going on about last year. Glad I finally caught-up.
GOD HELP THE GIRL – Wow, was this ever charming. High up the list of my favorite 2017 first-timers.
WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZARD – This seems like a lot of what I watched during my year of 52 Films by Women…but bad, and without a female eye to help it along.
Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER – Wow, does the Criterion blu of this ever look handsome!
LIFE ITSELF – Still beautiful. Still a bummer.
ARGO – Screw you guys. I still like it.
Boxscore for The Year
47 First-Timers, 25 Re-Watched
72 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?