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Monday, April 25, 2022

Surprised To Be Surprised

There is an inherent risk in being a film buff, especially one as indiscriminate as I've been at times. 

Anyone who has seen as many films as me is not easy to surprise. After over sixty years of non-stop movie watching, I've become fairly adept at spotting formulas. For example, rom-coms nearly always have a "meet cute" set up, spy thrillers predictably feature double or triple crosses, film noir - classic or otherwise - are frequently populated with "types" like the cynical private eye and the femme fatale. I suspect longtime film critics treat being rarely surprised as an occupational hazard. There is some comfort in formulas and predictability, but I often yearn for more surprises.   

Though I didn't look before starting to write this post, my guess is that Her Smell surprised even the most jaded film critics upon its release in late 2018. At the time, I recall reading about it although I don't recall why it then quickly fell off my radar. No matter. If you haven't been surprised by a film in a while, check out Her Smell. But, be forewarned.

First, use captioning. Second, let yourself be annoyed during the first extended scene when there seems to be an infuriating amount of background noise. Trust me. The writer/director - Alex Perry - is taking you inside the head of his main character, Becky Something. Third, whatever you think you know about the acting talent of Elisabeth Moss, discard all of it. She does not portray Becky, she inhabits her. This is a performance of such full throttle intensity that watching it felt like watching an exorcism without the revolving head, the levitation, and the pea soup.

After you watch this marvel and recover, please contact me - here or offline - only if you weren't surprised. But then you'll have to show me that walk-on-water bit. 

1 comment:

  1. Agree, that was an amazing performance by Elizabeth Moss. Although she will forever remain Peggy to me.