I am on an unintentional—but very enjoyable—Kate Winslet kick right now. She is amazing, and I hardly ever use that word because I think most people use it too often. But she really is. She has a very distinct look, to be sure, so it’s hard for her to physically transform into characters. And yet she can rat her hair and pale her skin and slouch her posture and change her accent and do all sorts of things. She is the Meryl Streep of her generation.
This movie was… creepier than I imagined, yet also much more enjoyable than I expected. The Jim Dale-esque voice-over narration gave it a certain whimsical quality, or maybe I just thought that because I expected Olive from Pushing Daisies to pop in. Anyway. The narrator made the whole gravitas of the movie—the cheating, the pedophilia, the frenzy, all if it—more bearable, I suppose, because it trivialized everyone’s deep-set emotional problems. Kate Winslet was, of course, superb as Sarah Pierce, the emotionally vacant mother who was BANGIN’ BRAD (I mean, Patrick Wilson). I should also say that Wilson did a suberbly subtle job in his role. It was hard to focus on his acting because he was so beautiful, but he really captured that suburban longing from such an interesting male perspective. And his chemistry with Kate was cute. Not necessarily hot, but cute.
Meanwhile, we had poor Jennifer Connelly getting cheated on AGAIN. Seriously that woman cannot catch a break in movies! And she’s so hot! But she always plays vapid characters, so I suppose she asks for it. I do like her though. She seems like she’d be pretty nice once you got to know her.
Finally, the creepers. There was The Walking Dead’s Jenner, a.k.a. the guy who hated then liked the pedophile, a.k.a. Noah Emmerich. He always seems to have the crazy eyes to me. And then there was Jackie Earle Haley, who now officially scares the shit out of me. I mean, I watch The Walking Dead, which is full of zombies, and yet I cannot get the various disgusting, disturbing images of Ronnie out of my head. That guy did a good thing by shaving his head and growing facial hair after that role, because he was so awful, and so good at the same time.
With all of these dark themes being interwoven, it might sound weird to say that the movie had a happy ending, even if all four people were basically suffering at the end of it. They were at the bottom of their hills, but they were climbing towards the top. Sarah and Brad ended their affair quietly and amicably, I would imagine. And Ronnie and larry reached an understanding. Maybe this film is about second chances, or maybe it’s about what you do before you get the second chance. Either way, it’s one worth watching.