About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday review - The Descendants

This is a deceptively simple movie. You know what's going to happen - all the events are there for you from the beginning. Oh, there are minor twists and turns, but nothing that can't be anticipated, nothing that makes you say, oh, now that changes everything.

But none of that matters.

Because what works in this movie, what makes it so good, is the acting. It's very clean, very clear, and again, deceptively simple. It's the tiniest tightening of the eyes, the smallest twitch of a mouth, a single teardrop.

There are dozens of actors who don't speak, but whose stance says everything, whose faces, still and calm and unyielding, say everything we need to know about them.

And the words that are spoken are simple, straightforward. The anger is vicious. The remorse is slow and heavy. The sorrow is buried so deep it almost needs to be dragged out of their throats.

All of this works in a way that Hollywood movies seldom do. It's not all laid out for you. You don't get hit over the head with a hammer of emotion, and yet the secrets each character conceals are so painful, so real, so true - you can't resist them.

As you can tell, I thought this movie was terrific. I'm not sure I would see it again, not for a while, anyway. Because the way it works is so subtle, so sweet, so perfectly tied together, that if I saw it again, I might start to unravel some of those threads and ruin it.

But see it. You need to see how it works, why it works. It's worth it.


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