In many ways, life really is an Unlikable Olympics, wherein every stripe of twat and derp gets in your face, and then you die. Flaubert was right about that, and about us largely being volunteers in our own tours of miserable duty, but I flip flop as to Madame Bovary’s absolute entitlement to canonical status and am thusly unusually amenable to the arguments posed by each new interpretation.
Which leads me to ponder why anyone would take such a blunt set of hedge shears to some of MB’s most important elements, recklessly isolating its characterisations and setting them adrift presumably in the pursuit of… brevity? Economy? Dunno. It’s not the kind of arc that can be topped and tailed; MB is like a longbow, the power of its draw dependant on the integrity of its whole. I’ll leave the precise nature of the omissions for you to discover, but I’m still struggling to understand the point of this Rose Barreneche/Sophie Barthes edit and its cropping of that fatal curve.
So much rested on Mia Wasikowska’s portrayal and while her paintbox of low-fi pretty and naturalistic tics and grimaces is a good start, it is largely the recipe she presented in Fukunaga's Jane Eyre and I'm not sure these two ladies share much more than pinched viscera. The guys are unspectacular. I don’t get Paul Giamatti’s weirdly atonal inclusion as mouth-and-trousers Homais. Lloyd-Hughes forms an okay husband out of the reduced material he was handed and Logan Marshall-Green as posh cad/budget Tom Hardy rendered himself essentially pointless by turning in something closer to rising damp than callous smoulder. Ezra Miller looks too much like someone way too into Ezra Miller and that shit is distracting. Rhys Ifans is captain obvious as the procurer of ruinous luxury, but then that’s all he ever does.
As a misanthropist it’s difficult for me to accept this demotion of Madame Bovary’s exquisitely-wrought and utterly merciless arraignments in favour of sloppy, brumous womance. It leaves the heart of the beast on the cutting room floor in favour of modest performances and undistinguished observation and I'm not sure the world needed another stunted vanilla rendition.
Dude. There's like these science people and they, I don’t know, detect shit and they’re detecting lots of whatever that shit is and like all this stuff happens something something faulty, and then earthquaking, like, everything in California is fucked because it's the superquake, the one where California just like goes boom into the Atlantic or some shit and there’s this other science guy and he’s on that... that dam, you know, the old one, you know, that really big one, and then there's the earthquake, right and that shit is just gone like boom, then The Rock has a hot daughter and she gets totally wet huh huh huh yeah I'd let her suck it brah, and his wife is like, on this building that is going down and needs rescuing and then they get this boat and go all the way up a tsunami totally and after that they just like cruise through all these other people needing help but its fine because it’s their daughter and she’s with these randoms and she says all this shit about what to like, do but hey lucky her dad’s there.
It's an earthquake movie. There were few-to-no expectations. But even recreational drug use could not and did not make San Andreas right, and I don’t say that lightly. Especially cretinous cinematic floaters like this one always make me nervous because I feel they really are reflective of the ambient human plasm, and that sluggish corpus does not typically respond well to ridicule. Incidentally, it was almost interesting to witness the two weirdly insistent and creepily prescriptive gender models San Andreas presented. Millennial Girlpower Exemplar can know things, but must repay that indulgence with tittays, hypercoloured eyeballs, scrupulously polite accessibility and ultimate helplessness. Her mother can only hope for guidance from her Conventional Retrograde Patriarkhēs and his powerful ocean-besting righteousness.
No stars. Please leave your physics in the foyer for collection prior to event.
From the moment Jake busted out all that bug-eyed mugging in that generic Vegas ring, I knew which way this thing was headed despite the initial industry buzz. Gyllenhaal is such a naughty pony; though we often enjoy his performances, he has highly questionable, even wilfully bad taste in projects, regularly plunging from the heights of Donnie Darko and Nightcrawler into steamy poos like this one.
Jake is Billy the heavyweight champion who came up hard; his supportive wife, loving daughter and luxe estate complete him. But oh no- at the top of his game he loses it all- no one understands his pain, the man came took his money and shitty Fitty took his game. He cries alone in the shower. Tragic strings enclose him. Helpful voiceovers delineate the skullfuckingly obvious, over and over again. Billy must re… rebuild.
Had enough? We’d had enough after five minutes. I may be old/ not the target demo/ have seen this retarded parable twenty times elsewhere, but I'm also as bloodthirsty and immature as the next punter and yet Southpaw's mouthbreathing spectacle still insults and displeases me. And leaves me wondering things like just how Rachel McAdams and Gyllenhaal could sort through a presumably dizzying array of projects then settle on this one? Why did Forest Whitaker pack his dignity when he knew he’d never get to wear it? Perhaps it suffices to say that this was originally intended as a vehicle for Marshall Mathers. Yes- Eminem, who recused himself only because his lyrical muse just wouldn't let him be great as a totally convincing heavyweight boxing champion and dragged him away in mid-shoot to write another stunning opus. Sure, Jan.
Southpaw looks somewhat expensive while managing to feel like it was shoplifted from the Two Dollar Store by hoodrats. Every fucking genre cliché is dragged screaming let me die in peace from overdue retirement and stuffed into a narrative bucket wherein they writhe like greasy, tormented eels to no good purpose. There is. A fight training. Montage. The incessant didactic commentary made me want to punch myself in the fucking face repeatedly. The thing rolls ponderously over the top of the talent that may have redeemed it even though there are a thousand obvious ways this jejune orgy could have been tilted or reframed to make it worthy. McAdams is excused; she acquits herself even in this blighted context, as do most of the supporting players, but it's only when he's sat with the utterly reliable Whitaker that Gyllenhaal reminds us why we bother with him at all, alluding to just how circumstantial and reactive his magic seems to be. Carby old Fifty Curtis Jackson Cent plays mediocre-shady exactly like someone who really has cheated a few dipshits out of their lunch money in his time on earth. Golf clap?
It's fucking horrible. We laughed like ghouls and rolled around in agony all the way through this feckless shitfest whilst simultaneously mourning those two squandered hours.