Synopsis: Celeste and Jesse met in high school, married young and are growing apart. This divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people.
My Take: Celeste and Jesse Forever stands as a romantic comedy that tries to reverse the formula. Instead off witnessing two people fall in love and try and overcome the obstacles put in their way to be together, we are presented with two people who have been joined at the hip for so long but now are attempting to find a way to separate their lives. After taking their high school best friendship to the next level and spending years married, Celeste (Rashida Jones) realized that Jesse (Andy Samberg) was just not the responsible, motivated man she wants to have a family with yet still depends on his friendship; Jesse holds out hope that being in her life will change her mind and allow her to let go of what he perceives to be her control issues. Though the flaws that make them so different don’t hinder their dynamics as best friends, it has worked its way into slowly destroying the foundation of their romantic relationship. Here is where the movie starts, with this couple in a sort of unhealthy overly co-dependent limbo where they laugh at the same lame jokes, flash heart signs to each other, have standing dinner plans, but where a divorce is also pending. The weirdness of the situation is not lost on their close friends around them who try and help them crave out lives of their own separate from each other. As they still work to avoid really discussing what their new relationship to each other is, they fall into old patterns, send out mix signals, and indulge in their co-dependence. As other potential love interests enter the picture (including Chris Messina… what indie movie in the last 3 years is this guy NOT in? Not complaining though), they are forced to deal with the fact that they may need to cut the cord once and for all.
Synopsis: Beginners explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Ewan McGregor). Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent) only months after his father Hal Fields (Christopher Plummer) has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father, who, following the death of his wife of 45 years, came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life – which included a younger boyfriend. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him. At once deeply personal and universal, Beginners was inspired by director Mike Mills’ own father and is meant in turn to inspire everyone weighing their chances and choices in life and love.
My Take: One of my favorite films, it made my Best of Films of 2011 list in the Drama category. This is what I had to say in the explanation:
“I was drawn in by Mike Mills’ story of his father’s coming out after the death of his mother that he brings to the screen so thoughtfully. Christopher Plummer is a frontrunner for supporting actor for the major awards [he goes on to win the Oscar] and he definitely deserves it. For me, this film is also Ewan McGregor’s reemergence as an actor to watch for his touching portrayal of a man who carries a sadness with him only exacerbated by the death of his parents.”
… ‘cuz Leonardo DiCaprio’s downfall from the lavish life is imminent.
Previous blog posts and promotion from around the ‘net on my most anticipated film of 2013, the upcoming The Great Gatsby:
- Watch this: My favorite trailer for The Great Gatsby
- See this: Gatsby (DiCaprio) and Daisy (Carey Mulligan) in a promo photo from The Great Gatsby and more pictures at the new The Great Gatsby tumblr site.
- Hear this: Jack White’s cover of U2’s “Love is Blindness” for the soundtrack… you can also read the whole soundtrack listing for the movie and hear samples of all the songs
- Want this: Prada designed costumes for The Great Gatsby.. and for the men, the film-inspired Brooks Brothers collection.
- Note this: Who loved, killed, desired who as illustrated in a character map
- Read this: The best quotes from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel… or better yet, read the whole novel online… or still better yet, have Jake Gyllenhaal read it to you.
WATCHED THIS ———————————->
Synopsis: Presenting a story within a story within a story model, The Words follows struggling writer Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) whose biggest aspiration is to be America’s next great writer. He finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing his first novel, one he plagiarizes after discovering an old manuscript in Paris while on honeymoon with his new wife (Zoe Saldana). The decision to pass off this work as his own comes back to haunt him when he is confronted by the actual author (Jeremy Irons). Rory must pay the ultimate price for chasing ambition and success.
My Take: I’d been looking forward this movie since January when I missed seeing a screening at Sundance. I haven’t loved Bradley Cooper choices of dramatic movies as of late (I literally fell asleep during Limitless), but in my heart of hearts, I think he’s probably one of the most well-trained actors in his generation. If he would just picked some good scripts, he would be set. My hopes were pinned on this movie as I think literary dramas have the potential of being a really great character studies. Unfortunately, The Words fell short of my expectations. The film was certainly ambitious - you have a writer (Dennis Quaid) who is reading excepts of his latest novel at a public event, which is in turn a story about a writer (Cooper) who stole a manuscript and published it under his name. That said manuscript is about a man (Irons; a younger version of himself played by Ben Barnes) who loved and lost in post-WWII Paris. But to say that the movie goes out of its way to tout these novels as brilliant, the words from them that we hear are anything but. That may not be a problem for a movie just about a novelist but when the whole weight of the movie is on “the words”, you have a big problem. I also don’t think the film is completely successful stressing the impact of the parallels between all the leading men, this choice to indulge professional success over personal relationships in their lives. The film asks alot of us to buy into the realism of the choices of both Quaid’s and Cooper’s characters. The concept was there but I didn’t feel it. I especially had problems with the ambiguous ending that felt awkward and unnecessary where we are asked to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. This was to me an added device used to try and bring the audience in but only succeeds cloud the main message.
<——— SAW THIS
The upsides? The acting was pretty good (well, this is true for everyone but Dennis Quaid). Cooper was properly conflicted, Saldana was adequately loving, and Irons was enigmatic and introspective at its best. And the greatest highlight of them all? Every single moment with Ben Barnes in the City of Lights. These moments actually had such a different feel from the stories set in modern day, more endearing and believable. So much so that it didn’t feel to me like it really fit with the other stories. I kind of wish the whole Parisian story could have been a film of its own. It was such a beautiful dramatic and romantic story emphasized by the acting talents of Barnes and also his leading lady Nora Arnezeder.
What really stuck with me was not the film itself but the clothes that Nora Arnezeder’s character wore, the vintage style with a touch of European flair that is really making a comeback in modern fashion. It is both soft and romantic yet casual. So yeah, I have to say that her dresses inspired my style this week. On my recent trip to Toronto, I picked up this very cute Uttam Boutique dress from a shop that specialized in European fashion that I think reflects some of the style choices in The Words.
WORE THIS —————————————>
What do you think? Did you enjoy The Words?
In other words, an awkward yet lovable Midwestern with a flair for dressing in menswear. Nothing wrong with that. Annie Hall is one of the most iconic characters in the Woody Allen movie universe and one of the most interesting dressers in the history of film. So, do like me, and swing by the mens department and pick up some pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe. Hey, there can be something quite stylish about women in menswear.
Everything pictured is from my own closet:
Pants: GAP | Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft | Tie: GAP | Vest: H&M
In other words, you want to dress like a trendy fashionista hopping from one New York Fashion week runway show to another. Don’t we all? It’s alittle harder to pull off though you don’t have access to a stylist and a myriad of clothes from the top designers like Andy did in The Devil Wears Prada, however, I do think style doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Check out this look that is Andy-inspired:
Everything pictured is from my own closet:
Dress: Calvin Klein via Macy’s | Coat: from a street vendor on recent trip to London | Clutch (similar): DSW | Necklace: Urban Outfitters | Belt: Urban Outfitters