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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:37 pm 
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Alexander Payne's Downsizing is opening the Venice Film Festival....the early buzz is impressive


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:06 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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It's actually been on the receiving end of a lot of reshoots and tinkering all year-- word is every test audience has struggled with the film and Payne was still trying to make it work up to the last minute. For a high concept film like this, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but tempered expectations may be best here. Early word is that despite the name brand cast, it's relative unknown Hong Chau who has the best role and is likely to get Oscar nommed for her perf-- some of you may remember her as Linh, the woman Sonny marries on Treme


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:21 am 
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That's exciting to hear, Chau was fantastic in Inherent Vice as well


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:29 am 
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Reactions to Alexander Payne's film are not very good. Very strange, a mix of several films, result = nothing.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:37 am 
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What reactions are you looking at? THR calls it Payne's best yet. (Any of these Venice titles really don't get much of a consensus until most of the NY/LA critics see it at TIFF or Telluride, though)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:37 am 
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The Guardian review, by Xan Brooks, seems to like it too. It might be a bit premature to call something a masterpiece just after you've seen it, however, although I suppose the headline may be the work of editors. I'm also never sure whether it's the reviewer or the editor who allocates the star rating, either.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:39 am 
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rohmerin wrote:
Reactions to Alexander Payne's film are not very good. Very strange, a mix of several films, result = nothing.


Metacritic says otherwise.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:43 am 
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I read El Pais review. And given that they are Spaniards (so, zero English in conversation) they could have talked with critics from Paraguay, El Salvador or Costa Rica.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:34 am 
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It sounds as if Anglophone critics like it and other critics do not, which is not unprecedented. The most extreme recent example I can recall was We Need to Talk About Kevin, which the British critics loved and all the other critics hated.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:31 am 
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The “kiss” near the end of this movie is rough. I actually, literally physically recoiled all the way back in my seat and immediately began grimacing involuntarily as I realized it was happening. This movie was apparently problematic in September but it just feels like whatever it had against it has increased elevenfold in the ensuing months.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Ribs wrote:
The “kiss” near the end of this movie is rough. I actually, literally physically recoiled all the way back in my seat and immediately began grimacing involuntarily as I realized it was happening. This movie was apparently problematic in September but it just feels like whatever it had against it has increased elevenfold in the ensuing months.


I thought setting up an opioid overdose gag was worse.

Mostly I thought this film was pretty good for about 2/3 but then the third act takes a Chuck Pahalniuk-like turn and got away from me. The film has a muddled message, it wants to say something about being rich and poor but it never materializes.

It’s probably worth seeing for Hong Chau. She’s so wonderful it’s like she’s in a different film.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:07 am 
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I hadn't read about the reshoots until seeing Domino's comment just now, but I'm not surprised, because this feels like a movie that might have had reshoots.

Take, for instance, the scene where Paul takes a pill at a party. It's such a dreadful cliche - oh look, he's cutting loose after ingesting a mind-altering substance! - and it seems to exist for literally no reason except to shoehorn in a notionally crowd-pleasing moment. There's no payoff to it, the woman who gives it to him is never seen again, and altogether it sticks out as a scene that was inserted in a desperate attempt to get people to like the movie more.

Which probably won't work for the most part, because the movie just isn't very good. I've never seen a Payne film I liked, but this one I disliked in a different way. He's never been slipshod and unfocused like this, and this movie takes an intriguing premise but simply can't figure out what to do with it. It feigns in the direction of real social satire, before devolving into a plot that really has nothing to do with being small at all. In fact, it more or less just chucks its own premise about halfway through, in favor of some really unconvincing (both in deed and spirit) liberal guilt do-goodism, mixed with (as Ribs alluded to) a really sketchy application of the middle-aged-loser-saved-by-soulful-exotic-woman trope, mixed with Payne's usual contempt for everyone aside from the women who are inexplicably devoted to the middle-aged losers.

On another level, man am I getting tired of Matt Damon in comic roles. It's become abundantly clear that he only has one trick in his comedic actor bag, that wide-eyed gee-golly obtuseness that he obviously thinks is hilarious no matter how often he does it. I think he's capable of good work as an actor, but good god, man; this coming as it does on the heels of the grotesquely terrible Suburbicon makes it really hard to give him the benefit of the doubt. He badly needs a role where he can go the whole time without having to react incredulously to something. I can't believe I'm saying this, but give us a break and just make another Bourne sequel already, bro.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:33 am 
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Or at least continue doing disturbed cameos. If all he does for the next ten years is stuff like his
[Reveal] Spoiler: a popular film with a sneak cameo from Damon
Interstellar
role I will be pleased.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:14 pm 
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This appears to be a fairly polarizing film - a few critics like Dennis Lim have put it on their year-end top ten lists, and Nick Pinkerton effusively praised it in artforum.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:27 pm 
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I liked it a great deal. Yes, it wanders around searching for its story and theme a little, and the tone is uneven, but I found it to be inventive and original, taking an appealing high-concept idea and taking it in unexpected directions. The first act is impressively methodical in realizing the central conceit with an amusing amount of “real-life” detail.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:31 pm 
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Brian C wrote:
On another level, man am I getting tired of Matt Damon in comic roles. It's become abundantly clear that he only has one trick in his comedic actor bag, that wide-eyed gee-golly obtuseness that he obviously thinks is hilarious no matter how often he does it.

I have not seen much of Damon's comedic work, but The Informant! probably has my favorite performance from him - I'm guessing that one role milked this approach for all its worth, and for me, it struck gold. I do think his performance in The Departed is pretty comedic in a different way, so I think he can do much more if asked of him.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Yes, I loved The Informant! as well. I’ve actually always liked Damon, but his approach is getting pretty stale to me - I’ve seen him in two movies in that month and found the both performances extremely grating.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:49 pm 
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He's pretty funny in The Martian too.


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