Toni Collette doubt about bastion formulaic of alias!

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The action still remains quite stagy, especially once a sudden downpour sends the partiers rushing indoors from Michael’s enviable rooftop terrace. (Production designer Judy Becker created the lavish sets in a Hollywood studio.) A quick shot reveals — with what appears to be a pop-cultural wink — that someone left a cake out in the rain, signaling tears to come.

Crowley, who died in March and to whom the film is dedicated, was ahead of his time in putting gay men’s unvarnished lives front and center on stage, without the veil of allegory used by other LGBTQ writers of that era and earlier, like Tennessee Williams. The Boys in the Band in many ways is dated and formulaic. But it’s also very much alive, an invaluable record of the destructive force of societal rejection, even in a bastion of liberal acceptance like New York City. Despite its flaws, this consistently engaging film provides a vital window for young queer audiences into the difficult lives of their forebears.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is based on the book of the same name by Iain Reid. But this movie is first and foremost a Charlie Kaufman movie. Now if you have never heard of that name before then this might not be a movie for you. Charlie Kaufman is as much an auteur as say Hitchcock or Spielberg. But like Tarantino or Anderson (both Wes and Paul) Kaufman’s flavor of movies is an acquired taste. And this movie is NO DIFFERENT. This movie is layered upon layered with themes, subtext, and motifs that would make an English Teacher bluff. And the biggest problem that a lot of viewers will have is that it doesn’t hold your hand.

So after letting the movie sit in my brain and marinate for a while, how is it? Well, as simply as I can put it, “It’s amazing, I think?” Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie, but I’ve had to sit through the movie a couple times and even then I still don’t fully get it. I know this movie is like Inception in a way, it needs multiple viewings to fully grasp the overall idea of the movie, and even then you still might feel a bit lost.

If there is one thing Kaufman excels at it’s ideas and dialogue. The opening 20 minutes are just in a car. Now while this maybe bad on paper (and it should be) it’s actually pretty exceptional. The intercuts of voice over and dialogue is intertwined beautifully. Kaufman gets so much out of Jesse Plemons and Jessie Buckley. The way they talk and act, it really does feel like a couple trying to figure out if their relationship will last. It also is genius how the go about giving us exposition. Two characters stuck in a car during a snow storm, what else can they do but talk?

Even the dinner scene with Toni Collette and David Thewlis is incredible. The acting, writing, directing, and editing for this scene is about as good as it can get. Like the rest of the movie, it’s layered, it’s complex, it’s unsettling, and gets multiple points across without having to spell it out for us. Everyone here brings it and it shows — it really does.