Colin Farrell, I love you. I'm so happy your work in The Leprechauns of Limerick (just kidding!) is being acknowledged.
Brendan Fraser, I love you. Your performance in The Blimp (just kidding!) was amazing! But I'm torn, as I want both you and Colin to take home the gold.
Now, seriously, all kidding aside. Colin. Brendan. I want my money back. Or maybe I should be asking your directors for the money. Yeah, okay. So, Martin. Darren. I want my money back. You both owe me a combined total of $19.00. Oh wait, make that $38.00, since my husband had to suffer through your most recent pictures as well. And the key word here is "suffer."
Martin. Darren. I think you've confused suffering with drama. Okay, I knew going in to The Whale what I was in for. There was no way to skew that one as a comedy. However, I do most decidedly feel that I was hoodwinked by the promotional material for The Banshees of Inisherin. Let's take a look:
Later in the trailer, we see Colin crying and dramatically throwing something. But still, these images seem to be being presented as a kind of dark slapstick. When I went to see it, I went in expecting a kind of Irish Odd Couple; but that's not what I got. Does he cut off his finger? You bet he does. Not just the one; but four of them; which he then pelts Colin's cottage with. Side-splitting! Not only that, Colin's beloved pet donkey attempts to eat the fingers and chokes to death. I couldn't stop laughing as Colin weeped over the dead donkey! And when he then went on a murderous/arsonist rampage it was non-stop mirth until the credits rolled!
This was nothing more than watching Colin SUFFER for two hours. Granted, he suffered beautifully. The man is a beautiful actor. Not to mention beautiful. I'm sorry, but the Irish are lovers of beauty. I didn't buy for a second that Mr. Gleeson's character would cut himself off from that source of beauty. I don't care how boring "Padraig" was. Anyone would give their eye teeth (or fingers!) to sit there and stare at him over a pint or six. That's why beautiful boring people get a pass. You can be boring if you're beautiful; but damn, you better have something else up your sleeve if you're not.
And if Padraig is so friggin' boring; who else on Inisherin is supplying Brendan's character with the intellectual and aesthetic stimulation he seems to require, suddenly, after his seventy plus years of living on a barren rock? The sheep? Because it's certainly not any of the other denizens of the island that the movie presents to us.
Do you think perhaps that instead of kicking this innocent in the balls and pushing him off a cliff and literally giving him the finger, that maybe Brendan's character might've...oh, I don't know...taught Padraig HOW TO PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? Wouldn't that have made him a little less boring? And he wouldn't have had to listen to his conversational drivel, as Padraig would now have a tin whistle in his mouth.
So, let's review.
This Musical and/or Comedy has:
Pervy nasty priest: check
Pervy nasty policeman: check
Incestuous same sex molestation: check
Attempted murder: check
Conversations about incest: check
Old crone ageism: check
Familial abandonment: check
Adorable donkey death: check
I can't wait for the musical stage version.
Let's watch the trailer for The Whale!
Now see, this trailer too, is rather misleading. This makes it seem like a story of hope and the goodness of people. Caring people. People who need people. People who need people, are the luckiest people. IN. THE. WORLD.
What is this movie trying to say? For the life of me, I couldn't figure it out. Was he supposed to be some kind of martyr figure, absorbing the sins of the world; because he deserved it, as he had abandoned his family...for another man? What's with the Moby Dick metaphor? Brendan's tormentors all live and he croaks. In Moby Dick, Moby handily (finily?) demolishes all of his tormentors and swims away. Did I miss something? I sat trapped in that Skinner's box of and apartment and watched as Brendan was humiliated, abused, tortured, despised, insulted and excoriated. Somehow he managed to maintain a positive outlook. Was his fatness a metaphor for being gay? I mean he was fat and gay already. Was this just piling on, so to speak?
I'm just gonna be honest here...by the time we get to the mother telling Brendan their daughter is "evil"; I think the film turns to camp. When the mother said it, I nearly did a spit take. By the time Brendan looms up and walks to his daughter at the end: I swear to God I thought he was going to fall on top of her and take her out too. Which would've been fine with me. She was FROM HELL. Why was Sadie Sink, a very good actress, directed to play 99 and 44/100ths of her performance as a raging...let's just say...beeotch?
Really. She was so nasty! Going as far as to call her father's dead lover a "faggot." Hey, I'm sorry...what's with the word "faggot" cropping up in all these gay penned projects of late. Sorry; but that doesn't fly with me. A sister says it to her brother in that Teen Cannibals In Love movie; and now here. Both times, completely gratuitous and unwarranted uses.
The final straw for me was the shattered plate outside the window, where Brendan was feeding the birds. We can't even allow him that one gesture of beauty? Who smashed the plate? We're never told explicitly but all signs point to Sadie. I'm certain if her character could've, she would've broken the starling's neck and ripped it's wings off and threw them at her father. No, wait...maybe the final straw was when Brendan revealed himself to his students and one of the women practically licked her lips as she raised her smart phone to chronicle poor Brendan's latest humiliation; which we can assume will live on in perpetuity once the student uploads it to Youtube. Or was the final straw when the pizza delivery man--the only person who was truly kind to him--gets a look at The Whale and runs away with bug eyes and a silent scream. Yeah, maybe that was the final indignity. I'm truly surprised we didn't get a scene of The Whale "going to the bathroom." I mean, we did (literally) get a scene of him going to the bathroom; the implied setup: Gee, how does someone that enormous "go to the bathroom." Which begs the question: "Gee, how is he able to masturbate?" Because, when he's presented to us full screen with no shirt, it appears there's no way he could do either. I don't know about you; but I don't generally want to be thinking of such things when I'm being "entertained."
I could go on, because the more I think about this film, the angrier I get. Full disclosure: yes, there were people sobbing in the theater. Was catharsis achieved? I don't know. Perhaps they were tears of relief that movie was finally ending.
Wait...I will go on.
Okay, I'm done.
Let's talk Oscars!
ASTROLOGICAL AND CANCELATION (NOT CANCEL CULTURE) PHENOMENOLOGY:
So, Brendan Fraser and Bill Nighy are both Sagittarius. Austin Butler is a Leo. Colin Farrell is a Gemini. And Paul Mescal is an Aquarius. This bodes for some very interesting astrological criss-crossing. Brendan and Bill as same signs, may cancel one another out. However, Sagittarius and Gemini are balancing signs. And as Gemini is the twins, there are actually two Colin Farrells up for the award: so, the four of them may cancel one another out; leaving Austin and Paul. But Austin is a Leo and Paul is an Aquarius: another pair of balancing signs; so they may cancel one another out...which would mean no one would win. Which, couldn't really happen...
CULTURAL CANCELATION PHENOMENOLOGY (NOT CANCEL CULTURAL):
So, we've got two Irish nationals with Colin and Paul. And we've got a Brit with Bill Nighy. And Austin and Brendan are both American. So, by the Cancelation Phenomenon of Oscar Categorization (e.g.: two people nominated in the same category will both cancel each other out and neither will win) all predictors say, in this case, that Colin and Paul will knock each other out of the running and Brendan and Austin, the same. Which leaves Bill Nighy, who is most assuredly a critical darling (I know I love him!); and this might be "his time." Austin, being a newbie had slight chances; but now that Lisa Marie has passed away (not to be crass; but it's true) that could very much bolster his chances. I think, like me, NOBODY has any idea who Paul Mescal is (and I see a lot of movies); or have even seen or heard of the movie he's nominated for. So he has the slimmest chance of all. So really, the way the stars (and Stars) have aligned, it's really anyone's game, except for Paul. Except in the event that the other four all knock one another off: it could very well be Paul.
We shall see...
So, that's $38.00 plus a double-suffering surcharge of $10.00 each for a grand total of:
Ciao for now.
P.S.: How about this: Darren, you direct a musical movie version of Guys and Dolls with Brendan as Sky Masterson and Joaquin Phoenix as Nathan Detroit. Jennifer Connelly, Naomi Watts and Michelle Williams are "The Dolls" of course! Just a straight up redo. No subtext. No metatext. No metaphor. No meta anything. And Martin, you could star Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Irish Rovers Story. I don't think anyone gets dismembered in that one. And Colin, you're going to have to learn how to play the Irish banjo; but you can do it!