Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Joe and Gabrielle

I've seen two more movies.

Tuesday was Joe: super brilliant, super miserable, based on a novel by Larry Brown.

Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a guy with some issues... He tries hard not to get too pissed off at people, but every once in a while he sets his dog loose on a nuisance or puts a cop in his place. He has an iffy job; pays his underlings cash for the probably illegal work they do; drinks and smokes too much; but kinda has a heart of gold. He takes on a young worker with even more issues, but of a different sort: he has a violent, drunken daddy, a sister who suddenly stopped speaking for some reason, a useless mom. He, too, has a heart of gold. As they say, he's on the fence: is he going to turn bad or escape the crap and do something worthwhile?

There's a lot of just awful stuff that happens in this movie. I wouldn't have chosen it myself, and would be careful who I recommended it to. But it was perfectly cast and acted, the settings were wonderful, and it certainly did not get sentimental or preachy about anything.

That guy's head was in the way through the whole dang film

Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan, already an award-winning actor at age 17, and the director, David Gordon Green, were at the theatre for Q & A after the movie, which is always a great bonus. A woman in the audience said she thought the movie was about the failure of hyper-masculinity in a failed America, which the director disagreed with. I think she was bang-on, actually.

Today I got to the cinema at 8 am to see Gabrielle, a lovely, gentle movie about a woman with William's syndrome (which I had never heard of) who falls in love with another mentally challenged member of her choir. She wants to be independent, have her own apartment and her own boyfriend, like her sister does. She is pretty resourceful and so happy a lot of the time, but gets lost when she strays off the usual route and is terrified by the noise of a smoke alarm.

It's a nice, slow movie with a lot of music and singing, and (*spoiler alert*) a happy ending. The director answered questions afterward, and we learned that the actress who played Gabrielle indeed has William's syndrome, but the man who played Martin, her "chum," is a professional actor. And that really was Robert Charlebois.

I kind of hope tomorrow's movie doesn't have anything to do with mental illness, but I'm not holding my breath. It's called A Touch of Sin and promises to be violent and crazy.

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