November 28th, 2007

amd: smoking picnic

wayback wednesday: Margot at the Wedding and I'm Not There (no spoilers)

So, during the long weekend we saw two movies.

Friday night, we saw Noah Baumbach's Margot at the Wedding with a bunch of friends and I don't think anyone exactly liked it but me and K. Nicole Kidman plays Margot, who is returning to the home she grew up in ostensibly to attend the wedding of her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Margot's brand of unrestrained, passive-aggressive, and unflinchingly critical "truthtelling" causes problems for just about every character who happens to wander into the movie. If that doesn't sound like a good time to you, then it probably isn't. But I found it funny and oddly cathartic, especially right after getting together with my family for Thanksgiving.

Then on Sunday, we saw I'm Not There, an experimental and largely metaphorical biography of Bob Dylan from semiotics-crazed Todd Haynes, who also directed the marvelous and eccentric glam rock pastiche Velvet Goldmine. In this multi-story film, six or seven actors play characters that each embody some aspect of Dylan's mystique without ever literarally depicting the man himself. K. and I thought it was great. My favorite scene featured one of the Dylans (Cate Blanchett) and Allen Ginsberg (David Cross) yelling at a statue of Jesus. A heavenly host of great musicians conspired on some really amazing Dylan covers for the soundtrack. I particularly dug Jeff Tweedy doing "Simple Twist of Fate" and Richie Havens doing "Tombstone Blues."