3 films left in my Curtiz Marathon. After that, I have BOTH Penelope and Becoming Jane, which I will review like the Bracket Tournaments, recommending the best one to everyone else. After that, I plan to flow into Music of May with a continuation of our conversation about The Greatest Showman.
You've been busy! I just saw that you posted about The Greatest Showman
and can't wait to sit with it and reply (hopefully tomorrow). I also saw your review of Taking Off
and may watch it it for Music of May. Something about the generational clash, especially of the 60's and 70's catches my interest.
Can you tell I like James McAvoy?
I knew James McAvoy was in this, but I was not prepared for Peter Dinkledge, who makes every film he's in better. You know who else will nudge me towards liking a film? Nick Frost. He doesn't have a big role, but he floats my goodwill to where I'm elated to see Reese Witherspoon show up much later in. It's also one of Reese's most likable characters.
While I miss early period Tim Burton, I wish this director trusted himself enough to develop his own style and not just do Burton crossed with Jean-Pierre Jeunet. That said it works better here than it should, building the fable world that allows the heavy metaphor to float by lightly. I liked the film's main message of acceptance and how it was just as strong in the relationship between mother and daughter as it is in Penelope's relationships with men.
The way men react to Penelope's looks is a constant problem because whatever degree of hideous we may find her nose is offset but the rest of Christina Ricci's physical features. Even the snout is kind of cute and Penelope herself is such a sweet character. It can be taken as the extreme rebuke of the upper class, but again, Ricci is too beautiful for a little snout to lead to such a constant, extreme reaction.
Peter Dinkledge is awesome. He's always awesome. It's like he can't help it.
Yes, he is. And the more I see Penelope
, the more I'm grateful for Dinkledge's presence in it. That goes for Cahterine O'Hara too. I think she is hilarious and each time I see the movie, she gets funnier. She makes me laugh and cringe so much!
As for Ricci, you're right, she's much too pretty to be so rejected, but I find she's the metaphor for the statement, "It's not the power of the curse, it's the power you give the curse." I just went and looked over my top 100. Each and every one of them have lessons that speak to me personally and the higher up the list, the more personal and important (to me) they get. Maybe that's a strange way to make a top 100 list, but I'm trying to navigate my way through this world and film is an excellent way for me to find road maps.
Being isolated and seen as less than, can make for a powerful curse, yet it is an illusion. Whether others create it, or it comes from the self, there is a way through. Like Johnny said, she wanted "to be free" and the way through was to like herself the way she was. So simple, but hard to do. Yes, you're right, acceptance. I'm not saying anything you didn't already get from the film, but writing this down helps me solidify why it means so much to me. I'm very happy you watched it.
There are some good names in the cast here too, and I didn't realize I was having a James McAvoy double feature. There's the conceit of presenting Jane Austin's life as if she were the heroine of a Jane Austin novel. It works like all those biopics where a famous person's real life inspires their art in a very direct way, but here it's like Jane always sees the world through a filter that will serve her well. It's like learning J.K. Rowling actually went to Hogwarts when she was young.
Problem is, I'm still not that deep into Jane Austin, so this was like sitting through yet another of her stories of love and money and social standing. It's really not my thing, though I could see it working as the ultimate meta mega mix of Austin's style.
Meta Mega Mix! Exactly! There are many details in Becoming Jane
where she is picking up inspiration for her novels and whether they are true or not, I enjoy seeing them.
"My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire." --Jane Austen
This was not to be for Austen herself, so I find her giving it to her characters such a sweet gift. More than the details of her gathering "copy", I am most interested in her as a person and the impossibility it was to be a woman with a literary gift in her time period. She stood up to the expectations of family and society and lived as she thought best. She also let go of her love, for the sake of others. These things I find inspiration in.
oldkid linked to an article about women and the arts, which garnered some discussion. I found it to contain some truths. In it were the words, "There is likely quite a bit more to the female text than we initially see." Being a woman, it gives me an advantage to Austen type texts, just like The Godfather
is a man's film through and through. I love being here and seeing film through other's eyes and mostly men's at that. The perspective is not my own and so is valuable to me. Becoming Jane
is written and directed by men, which isn't wrong, but I wonder if I would have connected with it even more, through women artists.
VERDICT: Sadly no contest. I got a lot out of Penelope, which is flawed but very interesting. Plus it has Peter Dinkledge.
is higher on my list, so I have no problem with your verdict!
Thanks for your reviews, 1SO!