Film Commentary, Film Reviews

"You make me laugh, but it's not funny" A NON-REVIEW // BEGINNERS

November 28, 2011

Written & Directed by Mike Mills / Release: June 3, 2011 / R, 105 min

When Richard Sánchez, a.k.a. the Creator of this space, asked me offered me the chance to drop my artsy-ricardsy critiques and impressions in a corner of his site – more exactly, where any dog would kindly pee — I said, “Ok. But no smartass reviews.”

I’ve known Richard for at least five years, quite indirectly, just a computerized and highly caffeinated version – or else where does he get all his acid humor? I met him through another Verbose Alchemist who also marks his territory in the corners of this page, the Muñoz Melancholia – much more apocalyptic than Lars Von Trier’s (do call on Mario whenever you find yourself too annoyingly cheerful).

But yes, oh bla, you know, it’s how they talk, these complicated, thirsty creatures, living inside us, sniffing on words like e-cocaine (or oxygen, I don’t do drugs). Always in want, always in need, in high demand for content and fingers pointing at the moon, because no one can see the moon.

By the time we finished our conversation, both Richard and I had forgotten the subject (Smartass reviews? Isn’t that this website’s specialty?). Then he said something about adjusting his cravat. What kind of guy says Cravat? What kind of a vampire wears one? He seemed almost relieved that I wasn’t up for this verbicidal science.

The way I see it, Sophasstication could be defined as a movie critic sitting on a donut. By the time you’re done reading, not only are you willing to move to another city where the movie just reviewed is not playing; but you also wake up in the middle of the night with increased palpitations, sweating and swearing you’ll start eating healthy from now on.

Once the limits were set and our wordpress pre-marriage agreement signed, Richard had nothing else to do but pick up his dictionary from when English-Used-to-Be-a-Language and continue to memorize large passages for fun.

So with this first post, I am officially In and infamously Harsh under disturbing Light; unless it’s cloudy, in which case I’d say, forget about all this, it doesn’t matter, let’s just stay home, make tea, you’re freezing, let’s start over, maybe some popcorn (no butter, please, I’m vegan), let us decide if anything could be rewritten, put on some thick socks, darling, watch Beginners.

Don’t watch beginners if:

Your heart hasn’t yet been terribly broken (disfigured, destroyed, cannibalized).

You don’t want to fall in love with Ewan McGregor (again). Gay or hetero. That’s right.

You don’t want to know what the sky looked like, the clouds, the people, the cars, and who the president was in 1955, and in 2003, and once again, in 2011.

You are predictable or well-adjusted.

You hate the cutest dog in canine history.

You are immortal.

You are deliberately plotting against one of the most heartfelt and delightful soundtracks* ever recorded after Amélie.

Your existence on this planet is threatened by wit and by the atrocious Vs.

You don’t like quotable scripts. And when I say quotable I mean quotes that do not lead to tacky constipation or vulgar inflammation.

You are disturbed by the thought of an independent filmmaker breathing deeply over your lonely neck.

You don’t want to share a mental blanket and a sensory couch with me.

You’re too cool for sex, life, healing, nature, magic


In other words, like all memorable films, you need to watch Beginners for this one and only reason:

you’re in it.

*Bonus 1 – A taste of the original soundtrack.

*Bonus 2 – Amélie watching Beginners.

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  • Reply juliacastorp November 28, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Interesting the way you describe Richard. I will watch Begginers. I am curious

  • Reply Andréa Balt November 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Richard is indeed an interesting fellow. A verbicidal vampire with a cravat.

    After you watch, post your opinion – if you find it interesting enough to deserve one, which I hope you do. 🙂

    • Reply Richard Sanchez November 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      I suck the blood of dictionaries everyday to stay ALIVE.

  • Reply Fred November 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’ll watch it because of this review (even though I drive a Harley and have a skull tatooed in my sholder), and then I will post my opinion…

    • Reply Andréa Balt November 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      LOL! Can’t wait.

    • Reply Aline February 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      […] seed on Aug 10, 2011 • 11:14 am No Comments South Africa’s real life Indiana Jones, Richard Stanley found time out from dsisecting the mysteries of the Occult to give us a little insight into what […]

  • Reply juliacastorp November 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Andrea, on my blog or here? I will gladly do that

    • Reply Andréa Balt November 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Wherever. Both. You can put a paragraph here and a link to a full opinion/review or just put it all here… total freedom, we’re all beginners. 🙂

  • Reply juliacastorp November 30, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I love it Andrea. Ewan McGregor has an unique style. I never saw him playing this way. I,as an actor, would never see myself performing so different. And it is a good change. I will wait other recomandations from you and Richard(why not) & everybody around here who has this blog. Thanks

    • Reply Andréa Balt December 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Glad you liked it Julia. He is one of my favorite people to watch and very lovable on screen. By the way, I just stopped by your blog and I really liked the look of it. Very neat, sexy and creative, pink looking great. Oh and are you Romanian? I was also born in Romania and lived there for the first years of my life but I moved to Spain short after and never returned. I’ve also lived in other countries. “me bucur sa te cunosc” 🙂 Cheers.

  • Reply juliacastorp December 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    ma bucur sa te cunosc de asemenea.
    I think it.s so much better to live in Spain than in Romania. What city?
    Once i finish my third year i.m going to New York to make a master in acting. I can.t wait to get away from here. And today was Romania.s celebrating day.
    Cheers dear

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