Favourite Movies: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

10 things I love about this movie:

1. Johnny Depp. This is one of his early works and he is so divine. Mmmmm. Actually, his hair is horrible – the cut and colour.

2. Leonardo Dicaprio is amazing as Arnie. I could say so much more but it would all amount to the same thing. Amazing.

3. The setting. There is something so humble and honest about American movies set in nowhere towns. This movie was filmed in Texas. 1993.

4. The themes. I could bang on about so much here but may just dot point: family, friendship, community, loyalty, hope, grief, connection.

5. Juliette Lewis’ character. She brings fresh hope and life to Gilbert, who is a good and loyal young man trapped by his geography, his brother’s disability and his mum’s sadness. He deserves to hope.

6. The dialogue. Quirky yet intentional. I love films or dramatic TV shows where dialogue shapes the characters.

7. The death scenes. Yep. For a movie about hope and new life, there is a bit of death happening. The crickets in the mail box, the husband of Gilbert’s first love interest, Betty Carver, who drowns in the blow up pool after suffering a heart attack… And Gilbert’s mum.

8. The house burning scene. The kids come to a consensus that the only way to lay their morbidly obese mum to rest with dignity is to burn her and the family home. Wow. Poignant.

9. There are many scenes showing how hopelessly Gilbert is trapped in his life of service to his family and others. One of my faves is where Gilbert decides Arnie is independent enough to wash himself, and besides, Gilbert is desperate to do something normal like spend time with young Becky, which he does. The following morning he wakes up to take a leak and discovers Arnie shivery and cold, still in the bathtub where Gilbert left him the night before.

10. The final scene. The symbolism of the silvery, shimmery caravans going somewhere, anywhere, away from the township of Andora.


Favourite Movies: About A Boy

10 things I love about this movie:

  1. Hugh Grant is extremely convincing as a self absorbed, emotionally unavailable ass-hole. Just saying…
  2. Nearly all my favourite movies are about connection and community.
  3. The dialogue is extremely funny. The sense of timing and the comic delivery I can not fault.
  4. The dialogue and narrative is also extremely insightful and reflects real-life human behaviour and experience.
  5. The characters are well drawn and unique and you feel you know them.
  6. Toni Colette is awesome (I met her down Chapel St. once. She asked me the time and we shared an eye to eye significant moment where she waited for me to recognise her.)
  7. There are three extraordinary scenes, which fill me with anticipation and delight every single time I watch the movie; the dead duck scene, the scene where Will asks Marcus how things are going with Marcus’ mum, Fiona, and the school performance scene (not in the original story, but still a stroke of genius).
  8. The costumes. I.e. fluffy jumpers.
  9. The overall premise that “Man is not an Island” and how this is explored and developed through the two main characters, Will and Marcus.
  10. Marcus. What a little star. What a performance.

Favourite Movies: The Intouchables

Based on a real life events, The Intouchables is the story of a wealthy quadriplegic, whose life is enriched by an ex-offender who becomes his carer. Two dudes communing through humour, mutual friendship and respect – forced to trust, but dared to live and love. I promise this movie will not, and cannot, disappoint.

The Inaugaural Setting Sun Short Film Festival

I spent most of yesterday afternoon with my friend, Anna, who has been working on a massive film festival project for the western suburbs of Melbourne. I am so proud of her efforts, which have spanned directing promotional material to obtaining funding and to launching this wild thing on a shoestring budget. How exciting to sit in her home and help in the final stages of preparation for the launch, which is now only a week and a half away. She was giggly and nervous and yet pragmatic. I tip my hat to her. Tickets are on sale at the following link. Hope to see you there.