Keaton and Branagh and Dern, oh my:
Is Diane Keaton the greatest rom-commer in the history of modern cinema? It’s tough to compare her career in the genre to whom came before, because back then, the industry was dominated by love-centric stories. Nowadays, the proliferation of the form has vastly decreased. And yet, this her fifth — 5TH!!! — decade absolutely killing the game. No one is better at finding the sheer joy in and of cinematic shtick. And no one — and I mean no one — rocks costumes like Diane, a not unimportant skill in the realm of romantic comedies. Poms may not have a traditional romance at its core, but the movie lovingly embraces the genre’s general aesthetic. And if I was feeling particularly hammy, I’d argue Diane indeed does fall in love…she falls back in love with late life’s potential, not to mention the platonic loveships she develops throughout.
All Is True
We Stanneth Branagh, because we’re Kenneth Stanaghs. A thought about the costumes: unlike the Academy Awards, I value inventive designs over lavish historical-accuracy (this sentiment also applies to uses of contemporary fashion, but I do prefer takes on the present over period recreations, if only to offset the Oscars’ obsession with the latter).
Trial by Fire
Redneck Gothic = Southern Gothic without the fully-formed characters, replacing human complexity with reductive stereotypes. AKA Dead Man Walking, but bad (er…worse?). Legal cases — and the structured formality of their trial scenes — are narrative devices as cheaply-convenient, distractingly-artificial, and boringly-blunt as investigative procedurals. As such, shall we call them litigious procedurals?
On another note: the time it takes for the movie to get to Laura Dern = the epitomeh of burying the lede who should be the lead. She’s a contender — alongside Djimon Hounsou — for The Saddled Thespian of 2019 Award.