Youth (2015)

I wanted to hate Youth. I usually walk into movies wanting to like/love them, but given my antipathy for Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning The Great Beauty, I was hoping for some more ammunition in my argument that it’s terribly overrated. Youth gave me sufficient ammunition, I’ll give it that. Sorrentino’s take on affluent, existential aimlessness, spent…

The Weight of a Basketball: The Lobster and the Tyranny of Social Conformity

Successful speculative fiction is essentially sociology. It’s grounded not in the details of the alternate reality it concocts, but in investigating how societies and individuals would react to different structures and opportunities. The best speculative fiction isn’t inspired by spaceships or wizardry; rather, it’s impelled by an overriding interest in human nature – a considered,…

The Deep Blue Sea (2011)

The Deep Blue Sea begins with a suicide attempt scored with over-dramatic classical music, overlaid with histrionic strings. The music bothered me, though it’s very appropriate to the film on the whole, a classically-produced melodrama where characters alternate between either politely saying things like “See, I rather foolishly thought that my indifference would hurt your…