Friday, 9 April 2010

This week in film...

This week's viewing has been dominated by one really rather special film. Despite buying a new bazillion inch wide HD TV the other week we decided to have a change from the usual routine (S watching some rubbish American series and me on the computer, ignoring the TV) and go out and do something together. It had been a while since we'd been to the cinema (the last thing we'd seen was Shutter Island) and there wasn't anything on that had particularly jumped out at me and so S suggested Away We Go.

I have to admit I wasn't totally thrilled at the prospect, on the face of it it looks like a pretty typical indie-thirtysomething film - plus the fact that I'm not a huge fan of either Sam Mendes or Dave Eggars. But with the absence of anything else worth watching (and in that category I do include both Alice in Wonderland and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus!) I thought we could do a lot worse.

The film starts with two typically disfunctional bohemian thirtysomethings, Veronica (Maya Rudolph) and Burt (John Krasinski) finding out that they are going to have a baby. Having thus far made little of their lives and with Burt's parents moving to Belgium they have no ties and decide to travel to see their family and friends and choose a new home in which to raise their child. Here begins the true strength of the movie: an amazing ensemble cast.

The couple experience a wide range of family situations, from the inattentive (Allison Janney) to the over attentive (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and two very different family tragedies. Through their journey they discover what they really want from a family.

The story of self discovery might not be particularly new or original and nor are the dyfunctional thirtysomethings who still haven't figured out what they want with life but the real beauty of this film for me (and maybe this says more about me than the film) was the fact that I saw so much of my own reactions and fears in the film. One of the common criticisms of the films has been that Veronica and Burt come off as superior people compared to their friends and family but I agree with Roger Ebert when he wrote, "well, maybe they are".

Plus Burt is kinda obsessed with boobs, a trait I can totally sympathise with.

Away We Go (2009) - Sam Mendes

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