O.k., so here's the thing. It's not that I didn't like the movie. I mean, on some level I liked it o.k., I guess. It's just that this happens to be one of those movies that was better in theory than in practice. I mean, for starters you've got Maggie Gyllenhaal in it, who gets a lifelong pass for me on the strength of Secretary alone and then, to top that all off, you've got the Trejo. We all know how I feel about the Trejo. I've made it abundantly clear that the Trejo is awesome. And I have to stop right there to ask the following question: There is a documentary abou the Trejo and nobody told me???? Even though everybody knew that it would be right in my wheelhouse??? And then I have to find out about it through TigerladyT, as she makes an offhanded comment about it all "Yeah, I just netflixed the documentary on him awhile back. It was really good." and then I Kyle's mom it, all "What What What?!?!?" and she's all "Yeah, the docu on Trejo." and I'm all flabbergasted and an almost guilty feeling overcomes me because how could I, a Trejo Enthusiast, not know about a Trejo documentary? Ahem. Back to the point.
So if someone was to stick both of these very awesome actors that I like and respect in a movie together, what could go wrong? Alot apparantly, a whole lot.
It's not that they weren't working their butts off (although the less said about Trejo's butt in boxer shorts, the better off we all are), but you can only do so much with the material you're given and as far as I'm concerned, the material is weak. Super weak. I can't speak to how true to life Maggie's performance is, and, not that I'm knocking on authenticity or anything, but at some level it just didn't work, again not Maggie's fault but more the fault of what her motivation was at the time or what the script was asking of her.There were so many scenes that just felt overwrought and then there were others that just fell flat.
And then there were was one scene in particular that was unneccessary and kind of sickening.
The scene with her dad, which establishes the character's motivations toward drug use because of past abuse, was just there for the shock value. I get that it was somewhat of a plot pusher, but the way in which it was shown... look it's not like I'm some prude, or I don't get the director's artistic decisions or whatever, but no. First of all, I think they established early on in the movie by forcing the character into a lot of unsavory sexual relationship, that there was some form of abuse in the character's past. I was already aware of it before that scene. That scene didn't prove anything other than that she was in a screwed up family/ And I'm not saying this sort of thing shouldn't be portrayed, because it does happen and people have a right to put it out there, but I think there's a line in which things like that are maybe said not shown. It wasn't an artistic decision I would've made if I were in the director's shoes is all.
But then it was just left there. She never mentions it, it's never mentioned, it's just dropped while the movie rambles on its conclusion, which was what exactly? Look I don't need my hand held and I don't need it all in a nice tidy box, but I needed something that the movie just didn't feel like providing.