So as you can already tell by the title of this, I’m a billion years behind, still waiting for the dinosaurs to be wiped out when it comes to films these days.. is there even such a thing as a spoiler alert for a film that’s been out over a year?.. probably. I’ve had this (and many others) sitting on my shelf for an age and never got round to peeling the cellophane off and putting the disk in the player. Tonight finally we got round to watching it.. can I use the words ‘tour de force’ without sounding like a sarcastic ponce?
There is a hint of sarcasm in that, but you know what, me ‘n the wife were in tears at the end.. there were some very simple ‘tricks’ to get the audience to feel clever. I wouldn’t say subtle enough to make you feel it subliminally, it was more .. COLOUR CHANGES WHEN HE’S HAPPY than shhhhh.. change saturation .. shhhhh. Still it was effective if a little naive. Who am I to call Tom Ford naive before commenting, or more complementing everyone involved in making a nervous journey that you can feel won’t end well, maintaining the slowest ever cliff hanger while keeping you completely engaged. Not for one second was there anything that seemed unnecessary in this simple story that seemed to be spread out pretty thin like a size zero model on a catwalk. In fact every detail seemed like it must be a callback to something from some book or other. Does it automatically make you want to read Isherwood.. maybe? What’s the deal with the owl? Full moon? Lingering semi awkward closeups to show how perfect and beautiful imperfect can be.
As a coming of age teen comedy, it falls flat.. Ben Stiller fails to materialise and grab his crotch.. however, as a stylish as hell, happily sad and depressing film about love lost it succeeds beautifully. Through temptation our ‘protagonist’ ? well anyway, the main guy is testing himself and you can feel it that he’s looking for that escape that feels right, but it never comes. He has ultimate dignity, no shame, and the not-quite-sixth-sense ending leaves you even more happysad than ever. I don’t think there’s a sequel in the works lets put it that way.. shame, I guess I’ll have to hope Tom Ford makes some more films about something else.
It also reminded me of a time when I was working for Gieves & Hawkes (Savile Row tailors) under Joe Casely-Hayford, and a collection was being based on the work of Christopher Isherwood.. it seemed like an arbitrary decision at the time, like ‘who the hell is this Isherwood character anyhow?!’ but the fact that Tom Ford chose him as the subject for his directorial debut, I must pass on my internet kudos to Joe. It shows how uncultured I am more than anything, that’s right kids, listen to your superiors, they often have metaphorical nuggets of gold to share with you.
Two notes, I’m firstly really glad I didn’t see that at the cinema. I can’t think of anything worse than coming out at the end with 200 other happysadites staring blurrily at eachother like they’d just seen Irreversible except they didn’t want to puke or get therapy. I don’t do after-intense-movie smalltalk. Maybe I’m missing out on my weepy cry-ee side.
I said two so, secondly, it’s not that I didn’t want to see it and it was a happy surprise (like the Godfather which took me forever to sit down with and it turned out awesome beyond all expectations) I actually did want to see it, just haven’t watched a film in a long time. I have a few others that I want to see but probably won’t for a good while either.
When I unwrapped it I noticed that new dvd smell, something you certainly don’t get with downloads (unless you burn out your .. no, there’s no case for me to finish that sentence. Will physical media ever die? .. will I continue to see styrofoam packaging and odd looks of confusion when I point out it should be illegal to throw that crap away? ..anyway, watch the film with a loved one and have a good hug and cry afterwards, you’ll feel like a billion yen.