But today I drove myself downtown to the little theater to see a movie by myself. Seeing a movie by myself during the day feels like even more of an indulgence than just seeing a movie. I should say that I did, in fact, see a Sundance movie during the day about two weeks ago, but that's ancient history now. On with the Oscars!!
So I should just say that, before today, I had seen Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and La La Land. Of those, Moonlight is my favorite. I love the look of it, and the acting, and the emotional melancholy of it. Also, it felt real and emotional without being sappy or trite. (Also, aside, am I the only one who thinks Andre Holland should star in a Prince biopic? I mean, eyelashes!!) I liked Manchester by the Sea, I think Casey Affleck was amazing in it (but he's also an asshole?), but it's all white people all the time. La La Land was good, but ultimately disappointing (sorry!!).
Which brings me to 20th Century Women. Oh. My. God. I love it so much that I'm probably not being completely honest about its flaws (it must have flaws, right?). But I LOVE the form of it, and I LOVE Annette Bening, and I LOVE the kid who plays Jamie. I love Greta Gerwig more than I have loved her in other things and holy shit, Billy Crudup. I mean, I can't believe it didn't get nominated for Best Picture. I think the script is better than La La Land for sure. Oh well.
This movie is especially powerful/heartbreaking for those of us with sons, and maybe particularly with sons who are the exact age as the son in the movie, Jamie.
The movie is witty and wry and smart and sad. If you haven't yet, you should read this profile of Mike Mills from The New Yorker. Once I read it, I became obsessed with seeing the movie. I found his comments in the profile interesting, especially about making art and his relationship with his wife, Miranda July. For some reason, he thinks she is more of an artist than he is, but I would disagree. I thought her movie was flat and self-indulgent. His movie, I think, is transcendent and emotional and real, as well as being formally innovative and interesting.
It is just so, so good that I would see it again if I weren't so obsessed with the idea that I can see nine movies in 19 days. Oh, that's totally doable. Except that I'm rather ho-hum at the prospect of seeing Hacksaw Ridge, so I might not see that. But I would totally see the rest, but I might not get to.
What is your favorite movie of the year?