Let's face it, who wouldn't want to spend a week with Marilyn Monroe? To know what it would have been like to experience her world, for even a week, would have been a chance of a lifetime. And for a young man, completely smitten by Monroe's charms, well, it would have been something to make a movie about.
Michelle Williams, who by this point, I'm convinced can do anything... is radiant as Monroe. The film itself does a nice job of highlighting Monroe's strengths and weaknesses in a respectful way. While I think the film as a whole could have used a touch more of a wink to old Hollywood glamour, overall I think the tone was appropriate, and the film is definitely worth seeing if for no other reason than to see Williams' transformation into a Hollywood legend.
This is a quiet film. A good film. One that will make you pause for reflection.
At its core, The Descendants is a film about family and all the complications, mistakes, and heartache that comes with it. Families aren't easy. Love isn't easy. Raising children isn't easy. And forgiveness, well.. that certainly isn't easy either.
Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity knows that I am a massive fan of Lykke Li, so you can imagine how excited I was last night to finally get to see her perform live for the first time.
Perhaps my expectations were too high, or perhaps I caught her on an off night, but I was left a little underwhelmed by her show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. It's not that she didn't perform my favorite tracks, she did. In fact, she performed plenty of my favorites, both old and new: "I'm Good, I'm Gone," "Little Bit," "I Follow Rivers," "Love Out of Lust," and the always entertaining "Get Some." And she and her band sounded great on her entire set, so that wasn't the disappointing part.
I guess the mood was a bit darker than I expected. For starters, Lykke Li was dressed in all black attire, almost to the point of being goth-like. But, I wear a lot of black myself, so I would never hold that against anyone. Her tone was very dark though. She never smiled, she even scolded an audience member at one point. There were no covers of songs as I've seen her do online at shows. There was, simply put, no fun. It was all business... perform the songs, get off the stage. Dark and moody. That's how I would describe her set, and as a fan, it just wasn't what I was expecting. Maybe this is the new Lykke Li, or maybe it was simply her mood for the evening. Either way, I was disappointed.
Fortunately, however, the show started with the adorable duo known as First Aid Kit. I've been a fan of theirs for quite some time as well, and this was also my first time seeing them live. I have to say they far exceeded my expectations. There were no fancy tricks or lighting during their set. They simply sang their folksy hearts out and were very sweet and endearing on stage. My absolute favorite song of theirs, "Emmylou," sounded even better live. I didn't think that was possible.
Just like I didn't think it was possible for me to be underwhelmed by a Lykke Li show, but thankfully all was not lost, First Aid Kit, just like their name implies, saved the day.
Love it or hate it, there are two reasons you need to see Like Crazy.
1) It's authenticity. There just aren't many films out there that capture this kind of authentic rawness. Watching Like Crazy is kind of like being given a secret camera into this couple's most intimate moments, good and bad. It feels that real. It's never forced. Always sincere. And very clearly heavily improvised, which has allowed for this beautiful authenticity to be captured on film. I haven't seen anything like it since Blue Valentine.
2) Felicity Jones. Casting directors, especially, you need to see this film for her alone. She is amazing in every sense of the word. Beautifully honest, I haven't seen a breakout star turn like this in a long time.
See this movie. Love the ending, hate the ending, love the concept, hate the concept... at least you'll know what everyone is talking about. And you'll know why Felicity Jones is gonna be a major star.