So, Jon is kind of a dick. All he has in his life is the gym, and work, and church, and having sex with a beautiful woman night after night after... Ok, I know that doesn't sound so bad. Jon is ALSO addicted to porn, to the extent that he enjoys it more than sex with actual women, and this is really just a symbol for the emptiness of his life and his SOUL. He meets and 'falls in love' (spoiler: it's not really love) with Scarlett Johansson, which starts to make him a better man, but there's still something missing, and we're always aware of that as the audience in a way that Jon isn't.
Basically. I love how porn addiction is treated as a symptom of a wider issue of caring about how things look rather than how they feel, I love how this film could have been so gross in the wrong hands but is actually done SO well and sensitively and everything else, and I love the part that Julianne Moore has to play that I will tell you literally no more about because I didn't even know she was in the film but I'm so glad she was. Basically, as I write this, I watched this film a week ago, and I already want to watch it again. Ringing endorsement? Ringing endorsement.
Dead Poets Society
Anyway! I finally did watch it- I had to wait ages for the DVD because it's apparently unavailable to watch online ANYWHERE and the DVD is like golddust, but I have now seen it, and oh how I wept! I just... There are so many things I loved about it that I don't even know where to start, but maybe I should start by saying that I actually don't think it's a perfect film, and there are weird pacing issues and sometimes they don't seem to know which characters to focus on the most BUT BUT BUT there are moments that I think ARE completely perfect and it kind of cancels out any other inconsistencies there might be in the film.
REALLY I just want to talk about the end of this movie (not the standing on desks. Which is AMAZING. But before that) because I have total feelings about everyone involved in that, but I can't because you might not have seen it and I don't want to take that away from you. So instead, here's what I'll say- I love how disobedience at this school is going into the woods and reading poetry, I love how even the baddest of the boys really aren't that bad, I love how it reminded me that poetry isn't so bad**, and I love how Robin Williams lights up every scene he's in, and shakes up the lives of boys that have always just done what they're told and haven't ever been taught to love things that aren't money or success.
Also, this: "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." Just, yes. Please.
This probably should have been a full review rather than a mini one, because I still have so much more to say. But watch it, watch it, watch it, and we'll talk further in the comments.
Let's see if I can describe it in a way that makes it sound at all appealing... So Ewan McGregor plays this guy whose father has just died, but before he did, he came out as gay and lived voraciously until he died. This is making this all sound a lot more linear than it actually is, because really the film cuts between Ewan McGregor in the present trying to cope with grief along with being more open to other people because of it. This style is something which works really well, in that these flashbacks cut in when McGregor is trying to do other things, which is absolutely how grief works, but it's not just the style. Everything about this film is sort of beautiful, and perfect, and so so sad, so of course- of COURSE I loved it.
I don't think I've done a very good job of summing it up at all, and I feel like that might be because it's not a film that can be summed up very well, or maybe I'm writing this too soon after I've seen it so it's all still too fresh. Wikipedia tells me it's based on the writer/director's actual experience of his father coming out at 75, which explains why it feels so honest and true, and it's a shame that, in a film that does such a good job of describing entire character traits in such a few lines, I can't do it the same justice in this tiny review. Consider this, when Christopher Plummer explains to Ewan McGregor why he's with the man he's with:
"Well, let's say that since you were little, you always dreamed of getting a lion. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait, but the lion doesn't come. And along comes a giraffe. You can be alone, or you can be with the giraffe."
"I'd wait for the lion."
"That's why I worry about you."I mean, right? RIGHT?! So revelatory about Ewan McGregor's character, in so few words. Basically, you have to watch this because I'm doing a terrible job of describing it, but just don't let the fact that I've apparently forgotten the names of all the characters put you off because that's not important, right? Of course not.
*Dramatic? Perhaps. But would you have me any other way?
**I kind of hate poetry, I think really only because it reminds me that I don't really have a beautiful soul because I don't really get it. Like, hardly ever. But this film made me feel like I could, maybe.