Superhero movies got you down? I don’t see how that’s possible in this golden age of Fassavoy, but I understand. If you were one of those moviegoers who somehow caught Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern all in a row you might be tired of people with extraordinary abs and ridiculous problems.
You should cleanse your palate and spend a long afternoon at your nearest purveyor of artier cinema to catch Richard Ayoade’s Submarine and Mike Mills’s Beginners back to back. Wistful, sad, beautiful, heart-breaking, lyrical, and quite often hilarious – those are all good words, right? They describe both movies but each is its own creature, one a book adaptation about a clever, sometimes self-defeating Welsh teenager, and the second, a poignant autobiographical remembrance of love and loss and one scruffy Jack Russell terrier. (It’s to Mills’s credit that this dog’s presence in this movie never falls into Hollywood treacle-y nonsense. Cutting to an animal for a “reaction shot” should be a crime punishable by law, but Mills manages to do it very well.)
I feel strangely imprinted after seeing both these movies, as though I will be judging all the other touching indie dramedies of the year against these two films. Did you see either of them? How about back to back? I will tell you this much post-Beginners. After 34 years on this planet I have mastered crying quietly and non-dramatically in a movie theater.
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