After a very strange season of ups and downs for both the characters and viewers, Girls‘ second season ended on an upbeat note for (almost) all involved. However, with Christopher Abbott, who plays the suddenly-rich-thanks-to-an-app Charlie, leaving the show just as filming on season three begins, that puts one of the finale’s major storylines in a quandary. Though Abbott’s official statement is that he is leaving to pursue work on other projects, the rumor is that he and the polarizing HBO show’s creator, Lena Dunham, fought over creative differences. Hit the jump for the specifics, and what it could mean for the third season (Note: Season Two spoilers).
Did anyone count the seconds Shoshanna and Jessa turned up on screen in this episode of Girls? More than twenty, but less than a full minute, surely. The problem with any episode that focuses entirely on Hannah is that Hannah is, by far, the least likable of the foursome. In small doses she can be fine — the cold open was a thing of beauty to anyone who works in, or pays close attention to, media. Hannah, looking to do some kind of Woody Allen-esque “I just want to talk about how awkward I am” piece, or maybe some kind of long-form old-school journalism is told, “have a threesome with strangers you meet off of Craiglist. Or go on a cocaine binge. Just an idea.” Hit the jump to see how that played out, as well as why you should “look at the doll and describe her!”
Already the critics who lauded the first season of Girls for being the defining series of the Millennial generation (funny how none of those critics actually are Millennials, hmm) started to turn their backs on the series last week, saying that the broader humor wasn’t better. I disagree, and “I Get Ideas” is a great example of how more standard humorous exchanges, with beats for jokes and speedily-delivered one-liners that may not reflect the cadence at which people speak in real life, is still representative of the situation’s reality while still being enjoyable to watch. Now that the characters (except for Marnie) aren’t spending all of their time complaining about not having money, they’re just having conversations. With that as the core, the dialogue has really elevated into its own art, and “I Get Ideas” had an incredible amount of great quotes (such as anything/everything Jessa and Shoshanna say). Hit the jump for more on why “I’m not, personally, attracted to you, but that’s only because I know you.”
“I watched Girls, but I didn’t really have an opinion of it” – said no one ever. Last year the show started off shaky and turned some viewers off, but got progressively better as the reality of what the series is — and not what the divisive hype claimed it was — became clear. Girls is really a fine show. Series creator and star Lena Dunham is not “the voice of the generation” (which was a satirically uttered line that HBO turned into a sincere tagline), but she has moments where she gets it really right. So maybe getting the most out of the show means accepting it as an ironic embrace of White Girl Problems, without being dismissive of its truths. Hit the jump to find out where all of the girls are now, and why things are already so much better than before.
A batch of new posters have landed online. Briefly:
- A new poster for director Joe Wright’s (Hanna) adaptation of Anna Karenina. The visually stirring period pic stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson. The film opens on November 9th.
- Two Spanish posters for The Impossible, the English-language debut of director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), have gone online. The film centers on the events surrounding the Tsunami of 2004 and stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. The film opens on
- An international poster for the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman, featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck and Anna Kendrick. The film opens on August 17th.
- The first poster for the Sundance drama Hello I Must Be Going. The film stars Melanie Lynskey as a recent divorcee who retreats to the Connecticut home of her parents and begins an affair. The film opens in limited release on September 7th.
Hit the jump to check out the posters.
There must be some guy or gal who works at a major film festival and is blissfully unaware of movies that embody almost every indie cliché you can think of. I’m not sure how that happens. I’m not sure how a programmer can sit through hundreds of movies, do it year after year, and not notice the presence of a cloying score, well-worn tropes, contrived dialogue, flat-footed attempts at quirkiness, superficial relationships, and all of it done under an inoffensive and totally forgettable approach. No matter how it happens, it happens, and that’s why a film like Hello I Must Be Going ruins 95 minutes of my day.
One of the best films I’ve seen so far this year is the haunting and emotionally complex drama Martha Marcy May Marlene. Now Fox Searchlight has released a trailer for the flick and it does a good job of selling how the story jumps around in time and showing the fractured psyche of its protagonist (Elisabeth Olsen in a breakthrough performance). I also love how it closes out with John Hawkes singing and giving you a hint of how disturbing he is in this film. I honestly believe he’s headed towards another Oscar nomination for his work in this film.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and click here to read my Sundance review. Martha Marcy May Marlene will play at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It opens in the U.S. on October 7th.