Prisoners & Gravity

The two of us successfully woke up early enough to reserve a front spot in line for Prisoners. While waiting in line, we learned that there was a typo in the program and the film runs at 2h40. Although we were nervous that we were going to be late to our Clubhouse lunch shift, we decided to stick it out and enjoy the film. This film was a lot to handle at 8:30am, but it was a nice departure from films you would typically find at a film festival. It was quick, but predictable. The best part about the film? Terrence Howard’s sweater in the Thanksgiving scene. Everyone loves a good fall sweater.

Our clubhouse shift was slow and we were able to leave early. Phillip and I rushed over to the Galaxy Theatre in hopes of catching The Invisible Woman, Ralph Fienne’s directorial debut. He would be there for a Q&A and, as expected, the theatre was overflowing with women over the age of 50 hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite actor. We were toward the back of the line and all of the “moms” were cutting, so we decided that it was no longer worth it. Later, we read that The Invisible Woman plays like A Dangerous Method, a film that I slept through at Telluride 2011. I do not feel guilty for sleeping through that film either.


We made our way to the park to view a Q&A with Steve McQueen and the cast of 12 Years a Slave. Without seeing the film, we weren’t able to truly understand their conversation, but boy were people excited to see Fassy. He is a very charming man in person. Steve McQueen directed one of my favorite films from 2011, Shame. Fassbender was also the star. With that, I was interested in catching their next collaboration, but also their first: Hunger.


Everyone’s excited to see Fassy!


There he is. Fassy, himself!

We found Cole in the park and left the Q&A early to go to a bar and get a drink before dinner. It was great to catch up and listen to his stories from the Symposium. He was seeing a lot of films that I wasn’t entirely interested in seeing at first glance of the program, but now I was intrigued.

Following dinner at the clubhouse, we made our way to the Galaxy to see Gravity. Alfonso Cuaron’s new space thriller with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Like all space thrillers, the theme would focus on survival and isolation. The last time I saw a 3D movie was also in the Galaxy and that film was Wim Wenders’ Pina. For some reason, because Cole had a student pass, he was not able to wait in the same line as us and unfortunately did not get into the film. He was the lucky one.

Following the film, Phillip and I returned to our condo and indulged in some wine before heading to bed. We had an open morning, but we knew it would be important to make it to 12 Years a Slave in the afternoon.

Prisoners Hugh Jackman plays a father of a missing child who does a lot of shouting. Maria Bello plays his wife and she does a lot of crying and sleeping. We’ve seen this story before, but that does not make it less entertaining. Unfortunately, the story is predictable as long as you consider all of the dialogue to be important (and if you’re a good screenwriter, all dialogue should be important). Although the film is quick, when you know the ending, you just want it to be revealed already. B-

Gravity Indiewire has listed Gravity as a top contender for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director for the Oscar race. When I read this, my head fell into my hands. Never have I been exposed to such poor writing and directing for a film that has such potential. It is difficult not to compare Bullock’s isolating performance to that of Sigourney Weaver’s in Alien. Weaver carries the film, while Bullock causes it to drag. She doesn’t have much help, as the dialogue is laughable (“I hate space.”) and the 3D effects could rival an attraction at Disneyland. This film plays as a studio feature and it is evident that Cuaron’s heart was not in it. D+


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