Saturday, January 24, 2015

How many licks does it take...


Some films know exactly what they are, what they want to say, how they want to say it and how they want you to feel about it, and with all the right intentions in place and all the proper artillery in hand, they do just that; they swoop in with an undeniable identity, speaking their words elegantly and directly, with the right touches of power and inflection and you feel it like a whisper to your heart, because that is exactly where they want you to feel it.

And yet, when all is said and done, you smile and shrug and walk away.

I don’t know what happened here, but despite everything in all the right places and all the right words and all the right moments, ‘Pride’, as a whole, felt nothing more than ‘nice’ to me, and while ‘nice’ is good, I think I wanted more.

Right?



I think my major problem with ‘Pride’ is that, when the whole thing is said and done, there is nothing truly memorable about it.  It is all very well constructed, with a great ensemble who all work effortlessly with one another and all play off one another well, and the screenplay is cheeky and tender and politically astute and gives these actors and actresses dimensions to play, and the message is one that feels poignant to today’s social setting, and yet it all just kind of lays there.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a delightful romp in many parts, and the thing is that I can’t find anything technically amiss here, nothing is wrong or out of place or offensive and I’m not sure that I can really think of anything that I would have done differently, and yet there is still this overwhelming forgettable feeling about the whole exercise.  It’s doesn’t linger, it doesn’t stay with you.

My kids, they love suckers.  You know, those little dum-dum things they give you at the bank.  Anyways, they’re always begging me to give them one whenever we leave the house to go anywhere.  We have a small bowl of them by the front door.  And so, whenever we leave, they grab one.  They sit in the backseat and they suck on them for a few minutes, savor the flavor, then bite into it, chew it, swallow it and within a few minutes it’s as if they never had one.  They’re already begging for another one.  And I’ll tell them “you just had one” and nine times out of ten I hear “no we didn’t”; and they mean it.

That’s how I feel about ‘Pride’.  This is a sweet, fun little film that was totally entertaining while I was watching it, and then it was over and in a few minutes I had forgotten that I had even watched it.



That doesn’t make it a bad movie at all, just not a great one; and this year has produced a sea of ‘great’ ones.

I give this a B-.  Like I said, it wasn't bad, in fact it was good, it just didn't stay with me, at all.

10 comments:

  1. I just watched this a few days ago coincidentally and I'd agree with your assessment. I enjoyed it, and thought Imelda Staunton was fantastic, but it was missing some key element of passion that would have pushed it that one step further into greatness.

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    1. Yeah, it had so much going for it, but it just doesn't stay with you, at least not me.

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  2. I think you didn't notice how remarkable that movie was because you didn't see some of the biopic, pseudo 'important' movies of 2014. When you see a few of those and then see this, it's a gem.

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    1. This could very well be the case :-D

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  3. I have heard about this film and saw some ads for it and strangely, your assessment seems to go with my feeling. I think it will be a nice movie that one forgets later on. This is all about the writing

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    1. I still encourage you to see it. It has a great message, and the ensemble is aces.

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  4. This is my #1 film of 2014, and I think that's because of how it eschews anything "easy" at every turn - absolutely no cheap sentiment or easy resolutions. Everything feels earned in a way that these types of "feel good films" almost never do, and that's very special. I think it will have a lot of staying power, of the "OMG, I just saw this great little British film the other day - Pride? Have you seen it?" /warm memories/ "Oh yeah, Pride. I loved that one!" variety. It feels almost old-fashioned in a way, but is still remarkably progressive (and not just politically-speaking).

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    1. I hope it does. It is a good film, don't get me wrong, but it just lacked that staying power, at least for me. I expected more pop, but I may sing a different tune once that weight of 2014 settles. You never know, I could love this in six months.

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  5. I had a similar reaction, though I'd give it a B+. It's a very nice little movie, but it's hardly one of the year's most memorable outings.

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    1. I think my - was a little harsh, because the more I think about it the more I like it...I just really think something is missing here.

      Still, that ensemble is uniformly great, although I don't think Staunton is that wonderful, at least not to garner awards attention. ALL of the men were much better.

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