With summer unofficially ending this past Monday, the week before was a quiet one. Friends and colleagues alike were out of town, soaking up that last bit of sun and sand before Labor Day hit. I took the advantage of a quiet week to relax, unwind, laugh, cry and be inspired. Join me this week at the movies.
When the timeless debate of Beatles vs Beach Boys or Rubber Soul vs Pet Sounds comes up, as a faithful Beatles fanatic, I obviously always root for the former. After watching Love & Mercy, the Brian Wilson biopic, however, you may be speaking to the converted…well, maybe not completely, but my love of the Beach Boys has grown significantly. And Elizabeth Banks’ character’s 80s sweater game is on point.
The beauty of scrolling through Netflix is stumbling upon independent movies that you have never heard of before, but wonder why you haven’t until now. My recently discovered Netflix gem stars Kristen Wiig, in her quintessential blend of quirkiness, sharpness, and vulnerability, as a woman that suffers from borderline personality disorder. Because she just believes in it happening, and wins $86 million, she turns an obsession into a reality.
With Straight Outta Compton, there is a similar story to Love & Mercy, where a prolific group of musicians defy tradition to change the state of music forever. Paul Giammatti even reprises his role as a controlling, manipulating mastermind that destroys the strength of the artists. While Love & Mercy was set in the blissful, drugged out beach-y California of the 60s and early 80s, the sharply race-divided inner city of Compton in the late 80s and early 90s sets the tone for Straight Outta Compton. I was deeply struck by the fact that, despite a 20 years difference, race relations and police brutality that N.W.A spoke out against have barely changed since then.
As a woman that suffers from chronic pain, Jennifer Aniston’s character is often nasty and off-putting. With severe pain literally written all over her face, Aniston brilliantly balances a bitter sarcastic nature with the deep sensitivity that runs underneath. The movie, Cake, is a brutally honest look at person that is tired of it all and finds solace in very little. It’s rawness is rough at times, but is thought-provoking and introspective, rather than grating.