I just finished "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Ebert didn't like it, and I hold much stock in Ebert. Movies are watched or not watched, good money is spent or not spent, in my household, based on what Ebert has to say about a movie. But in this case, Ebert is wrong. Well, maybe not wrong. I don't think anything he said about the movie wasn't true. I think, probably, the movie offended him. Offended his sense of what is right and true and that's not either wrong or right. In any case, I thought it was grand. Of course, I cried like a baby for the last half hour. I'm not ashamed. That was because of me, not the movie. When Julia Ormond starts reading the post cards from the father she never knew, well, I was a mess, mostly because it reminded me of a valentine's I once received that was 36 years in the making, but that's a story for another day.
Anyway, what struck me most of all, was how common Benjamin was. The whole movie he works as a laborer (well, not at either end, but in the middle). He's just anybody. No one will remember him, he didn't do anything great and yet, the movie is a tale of greatness. It's not the story of an extraordinary man, it's the story of how all of us can have an extraordinary life, even those who seem quite common. To get even trippier, how would you know that many people don't age backward. No matter how many people we have in our lives, there are hundreds or thousands who pass through our lives for no more than a few seconds. If you were to pick out Benjamin at any one moment in time, he would appear quite ordinary, maybe even forgettable (OK, it's Brad Pitt, maybe not so forgettable). I'm not seriously proposing that people age backwards and end up as babies. My point is that the guy who parks your car, or mops the bathroom where you work may have the most amazing story. That's my point.
Another amazing movie I recently watched was Everything is Illuminated. I can't even tell you what it's about. It's about a Jewish guy who goes searching for his roots in the Ukraine. It's about the crazy absurd Ukrainian family that acts as his tour guide/translator. To say it's a Jewish movie is like saying Torch Song Trilogy is a Gay movie. Suffice it to say, Liev Schreiber does the most amazing direction his first time out. I can't believe I didn't hear of this movie earlier. Check out Gogol Bordello, too. Eugene Hutz plays the part of the narrator/tour guide in the movie and the band does some of the soundtrack, which you can check out on the new playlist over here-->
So, there you have it. Enough blogging for one month. I'm off to read reddit.