I’m probably too political

and I’m sorry to contradict Richard Armitage, but this is a C- film. I can see why he appreciated Amy Ryan’s performance — although she’s in it for max ten minutes. I also understand that Timothée Chalamet is everyone’s darling at the moment. Sorry — all I see there is some very studied, mannered brooding and the same character we saw in Call Me By Your Name, this time on drugs. I had the same reaction to Maura Tierney (love her) and Steve Carell (can’t stand him) as I always do. Carell’s not even up to dealing in any subtle way with the (admittedly lousy) script he’s given, which is more or less “how can this be happening to me” in the white male stodge variety. He literally has to turn away from the camera during one scene where he’s particularly upset — that’s how little emotional power he brings to the table.

Perhaps it’s not possible to write a script about addiction that doesn’t descend immediately into familiar stereotype, but as I get older, this sort of thing makes me angrier at the waste of time and energy. Yes, we get it: drug addiction shouldn’t be happening to nice people like this, it should be reserved for the poor and minorities; the addict is really a very creative person, a golden child who’d be an amazing talent if he were sober — he got into six colleges!; the mother is absent and bitchy; the father did recreational drugs, too, after all, so he sends the wrong message b smoking a joint with his son; our medicine cabinets are full of mood altering substances anyway.

This is a frighteningly sanitized picture of addiction and its effects. One of the trailers I saw before this film was for a film starring Julia Roberts, who is dealing with a drug-addicted son (genderswap!). I think someone should just admit that Hollywood didn’t get interested in this subject in any meaningful way until the children of the upper middle class started to fall victim to these drugs. Before that, meth was a drug for poor whites and unemployed blacks and nobody gave a shit. It’s a tragedy now because it’s happening to a white man and his white son. (The women are totally peripheral to the story.) At one point in the story Carell and his wife reject a rehab option because it will cost $40,000 a month. All I can say is: at least they have the option to reject it.

~ by Servetus on November 12, 2018.

12 Responses to “I’m probably too political”

  1. Thanks for taking the hit for us, Servetus! I think your comments about why this is a popular subject now are spot on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s almost inconceivable to me that anyone thought this film was a realistic picture of (even white, middle-class) addiction. I know it’s based on a memoir and maybe I should check it out, but then again, life is short.


  2. Well maybe his second recommendation Wildlife will be better. Is that hitting your cinema soon?


  3. it does sound a bit heavy handed and rather privileged from your review!

    Liked by 1 person

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