Tuesday, May 17, 2005


dir. Todd Solondz

Here's a theory I'm going to throw out there. I'm sure I'm off base, but it's an interesting idea to think about. Let's say you're one of the modern auteurs working in the movie industry today; one of those auteurs who all the critics adore even if the mass audience hasn't quite picked you up on there radar. These would be people such as, David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees), Richard Linklater (Waking Life, School of Rock), and Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways). So, you decide to find out how critic proof you really are by releasing a pretentious as hell piece of tripe just to see if you can pull it off; just to see that even if you're film makes absolutely no sense, the critics will still worship you and bow down. David O Russell tried one such feat last year with "I Heart Huckabees" and despite a few good reviews didn't fare to well. But Todd Solondz has pulled off a miracle, because I have read a ton of good reviews for "Palindromes." Hell, IMDB's ovearll rating from viewers is a 7.4, and after seeing it, I feel it falls in my above theory.

The story, if you want to call it that, revolves around the misadventures of a few days (at least I think it's days) in the life of Aviva (hence the title of the movie). The adventures of our little friend consist of her having sex with quite a few people, running away from home, getting involved in some weird ass cult, and getting pregnant, possibly twice. The little gimmick in the film is that the character of Aviva is played by 8 different actresses throughout the movie. These actresses range in a variety of age groups (Jennifer Jason Leigh plays her at one point) and two different races (an overweight black woman and a little black girl play her at various points); my best guess is that the character is supposed to be around 13.

That's the plot, as for the point? Beats the shit out of me. Not that I believe all movies should have an overwhelming point, but if you're going to create this kind of gimmickry around your central character, there should at least be a rhyme and reason. Up to this point, I have loved all three of Todd Solondz films (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness, and Storytelling). They've all been rather weird in their own ways, but I knew what the hell was going on in each of them.

However, if you read some reviews of this, you will read things about how powerful this film is, and how deep and meaningful it is. I'm not usually one to trash other people's opinions of films; hell, I like some questionable ones myself. But I am calling bullshit on this one. I know I'm going to piss off some people with that comment; I'll be told I'm insulting their intelligence. But if you saw this and loved it so much, go on the comments page and tell me what you got out of this film. Tell me what you thought it meant. Because, I'm guessing anyone who actually thinks about it for a second, will not know what the hell to say.

Final Grade - A Big Ole Fat F


At 5/19/2005 03:58:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Obviously, I saw this with you. This review could easily just represent my own.

At 5/19/2005 09:11:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Ahhh! You should still write one. Everyone likes your reviews better; I'm not jealous. And don't forget about that blue boat going down the river; the most beautiful imagery of the year.


Post a Comment

<< Home