February 8th, 2011

Harriet Vane

Junebug: Henry and Mary Crawford in modern dress?

Junebug older movie I finally got round too, mostly because the actors playing the lead roles as husband-and-wife lovers, Embedth Davidtz and Alessandra Nivola are the brother-and-sister of Rozemas  1999 MP:

Odd offbeat kind of movie; tunc, interesting. About visit  of two upper class types (one a son of) to a caricature of a southern  US family. The kind of movie one has to think about to try to see what it's getting at. IMDB comment faults it for not exposing the prodigal son come home, but clearly not he but the young pregnant woman (Amy Adams part) and her intensely reluctant spouse are the focus.  I recommend it.

Someone on Facebook said he lived in the area the film takes place in and it's not caricature at all.  I responded this way:  Maybe it's the inner life of the characters that seems to be so stereotyped. The comic angle deprives us of seeing this except for the family at hand. I also feel Ashley (Amy Adams) is often unbelievable in the way Harriet Smith often is:... they are too simple and too good. Really in real life such presences would be  imbeciles. You could call them 2-dimensional. The father and mother, the young husband have suggestions of hidden depths, but it is mostly given to the two city characters.

And there I think we are not seeing a city/town axis, but upper middle and working class one. So it's another movie which reinforces class stereotypes (that was the fault of The Kids Are All Right).

Still I liked it and thought there was something being got at important about family life -- escape from it -- that was significant. And I think this pair of actors were similarly used subversively by Rozema in her MP -- about family life if ever a story was. The real problem with the movie is Rozema got carried away in showing us the dark underbelly of Sir Thomas and lesbian love so deflected her crtique of the intense repression MP in her mind stands for. And maybe she's right.

Amy Adams as the modern Fanny Price, anyone?

She even lays on couches and certainly is in for much suffering.