February movie wrap-up 1

Instead of doing these wrap-ups like spread out in the month I've apparently just waited until the end. So these are the three first movies I watched in February, and then tomorrow I shall wrap-up the next three. Because yes. 

The Revenant
I watched the Revenant, because I thought this would be the year where I watch the Oscar Nominated movies. It’s very arbitrary, and I will watch other films, but I had already seen Mad Max: Fury Road, so I was pretty much trapped. Anyway.
The Revenant is about a man named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), who works as a pelt collector (is that a title? Trapper is the correct title.) They collect pelts in the wilderness of the Louisiana Purchase. He is under the command of Captain Andrew Henry (Domnhall Gleeson). Glass was married to, or living with, a Native woman, and has a half-native son, Hawk. He is an excellent tracker, but he isn’t particularly well-liked, although he is trusted. He is attacked by a grizzly bear, in the most harrowing scene I’ve seen in a movie so far. The other trappers try to bring him back to their fort, but they can’t, and Henry gets three volunteers, Hawk, young Jim Bridger, and Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who resents Glass, and hates the Natives, to stay behind. He makes them promise to give Glass a proper burial. Eventually Fitzgerald tries to kill Glass so he can go on, is caught by Hawk, and kills him instead, and lies to Bridger to get him to go. Glass survives, somehow, and somehow makes his way across the country so he can kill Fitzgerald.
Firstly, I am apparently now watching all the movies of Domnhall Gleeson, which I will have to, because he’s in Brooklyn too, which is also Oscar nominated. He’s surprisingly good, which sounds bitchy, but I had only ever seen him in Harry Potter, for like ten minutes total, so I was like; this is impressive, particularly since the movies I’ve seen him in have all been very different. Also, the guy who plays Jim Bridger, Will Poulter, was amazing. I’ve only seen him as a sort of dumb teen, and he was very impressive. Obviously Tom Hardy and Leo DiCaprio are both magical unicorns, but it was nice to see them sort of going at it.
It was beautifully shot and filmed, and I just loved watching it. It was incredible to see the American countryside in the 1800s like this. The American Country Side is so varied and incredible. I really want to go there. Anyway.
It was beautiful, it was incredible, the bear scene… I had heard about it, but it was just so long and explicit and holy shit. It was incredibly sad to see how the Native Americans were treated, and how they were referred to. It was however very cool to see that the Native roles were filled by Native actors. It seems very obvious, but I’m a bit disillusioned with Hollywood these days.
Anyways. I thought it was beautiful, and magical, and horrifying. There were pretty much no women in it, except soundless flashbacks to Glass’s wife, and the girl who is raped by the French guys. So it wasn’t a great movie for women, but it was very good for what it was.

I was going through Netflix and I found Secretary, the 2002 cult classic BDSM movie. It’s about Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who has just gotten out of a mental hospital after hurting herself. She starts working as a secretary for E. Edward Grey (James Spader). Even though she tends to make mistakes, and has some annoying habits, and is supremely overqualified, he keeps her on. Because Lee is obedient and submissive and he finds her compelling. And Mr. Grey is a Dominant and would quite like to be in a Dom/sub relationship with her. They do start a relationship, but Grey is too horrified by his own needs and predilections, so he ends the relationship, much to Lee’s horror.
I really liked it. It was very weird, and very compelling, much like James Spader, he is weird, and very compelling. Maggie Gyllenhaal is young and beautiful, and weird, and adorable. It was just, so great.
Firstly, is E. Edward Grey’s name the inspiration for Christian Grey’s name? I could research this, but who has the time? Anyway. If it is I am very angry with E.L. James, because I feel like E. Edward Grey deserves better. I found the movie very compelling. It was really… odd. There was a lot of colors, different colors and different styles everywhere.
It was incredibly cool to see how Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character growing and coming into herself when she discovers this need she has to be dominated and punished. And it doesn’t make her small and pathetic, it makes her big and strong. When Grey realizes he has these issues to work through, and he cuts off their D/s relationship she grows really frustrated that she can’t find anyone to fill the need she has to be dominated. It was also sort of heartbreaking to see how Grey struggles with his desires. He doesn’t seem to think that anyone could actually love him and want him to dominate them. And it has clearly filled him with a lot of pain and it has made him really repressed and sad.
And it was just a very beautiful love story. And so weird. And so good. And James Spader is very weird, and so hot. I’m very professional.

Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Birdman won the Best Picture award at the Oscars last year. It’s about Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) who was a big movie star, playing the superhero Birdman. He wants to be an admired actor, so he goes to New York and puts on a play at Broadway. He has written the play as a loose adaption of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. He has never really done Broadway, and is doing the play with his girlfriend, and Broadway rookie, Lesley. When a light fixture falls on the other male actor in the play he has to be replaced quickly with Mike Shiner (Ed Norton), Lesley’s boyfriend, who is completely fucking crazy. He’s a method actor with Broadway pedigree, who gets angry when his gin is switched with water, and he basically breaks character and yells at Riggan on stage. Riggan’s daughter, the ex drug addict, Sam (Emma Stone) works as Riggan’s assistant.
The movie is very odd. Riggan keeps talking to Birdman, who isn’t there, but he seems to see as an advisor/adversary. He also “flies,” pretending to be Birdman, and he throws fits when he’s angry at Birdman. The way it’s filmed made me sometimes think that Birdman was really there. He obviously isn’t. He’s imagining him, but it feels very real.
It’s also… the way the movie is filmed is beautiful. There are a lot of really long takes where the camera takes like a whole 360 degree turn and it follows an actor through a room, down a hallway, through the city. It made the whole thing feel really authentic somehow. I don’t know how. And it’s often filmed this way in very tight spaces, which made it feel sort of claustrophobic. I think Iñárritu is a really clever director and film creator. It’s really beautiful, and the parts of it that were outside in New York were absolutely gorgeous.
I think the performances were really impressive. Michael Keaton is a great guy to play a slightly crazy person. I loved Emma Stone. She’s mainly eyes, which is great. Who needs any other facial features? She’s also a very good snarky, grumpy ex-addict, I loved her. Ed Norton is completely unhinged, which he is incredibly good at. So I loved him. I was so impressed with Zach Galifianakis. I have really only seen him in the Hangover and as himself, so him being serious was really weird, and really good. He’s so good.

It was really good. It was so good. And so weird, and I loved it.