WHAT HAPPENED TO HOLLYWOOD?
Normally, the GSR does not do movie reviews. It’s not policy, but it’s just something that locally does not come up very often. The virus and how it has been handled in the culture of the United States has obviously had quite a substantial effect on the productions Hollywood is currently placing before the public in the form of full feature films. The three discussed here are reviewed more from the standpoint of what they signify about a culture that turned inward during the last year and a half and seemed to lose a lot of its positive hope. A classic movie called The Big Chill had a line in it that was delivered by a preacher speaking over the dead body of a young man who had committed suicide. His words were: “where did Alex’s hope go?”
The first movie discussed here won the academy award for best picture and is called Nomadland.
A symbol of the amount of lead in drinking water that must be affecting all parts of the American cultural experience might be illustrated by the near idiocy of this moving picture. Nomadland is badly written, poorly acted, and then nothing more or less than the completely depressive wandering of an aging woman, moving across the country in her broken-down motorhome, staying illegally wherever she can inside the thing while treating other people with arrogant disdain, and animals too. The movie ends where it started; going nowhere and having no message except the one about life being pretty hopeless and crummy. The ‘actress’ got the Oscar award too. The movie sucks but it sure describes the state of Hollywood these days. The genre currently under the focus of these untalented artists is an unsympathetic exploration and tiring journey through ugly dreary scenes acted out by unsympathetic actors. That this picture won the top award is an indictment of Hollywood, if not a good portion of the country itself.
And how about the new movie called “Another Round” starring Mads Mikkelsen?
You think Nomandland is lousy, well, how about a movie about a boring listless high school teacher who decides, with his friends, that the only way to really be happy in life is to stay pleasantly ‘lit’ on booze twenty-four hours a day for the rest of your life. While teaching, while driving, while everything. This is supposedly following the advice of some idiot psychiatrist from years gone by who claimed that humans have all been born with too low a level of alcohol naturally occurring in the blood. Yes, the movie sucks and the conclusions it presents suck too. No, you are not generally nicer, happier, lighter, and more entertaining drunk. You just think you are. Everyone else around you has to tolerate the behavior….which, if you do it often enough, they do not.
Finally, there is the movie called Father.
The wonder of an actor named Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins plays an old man who has dementia. The dementia he has is explored in great detail, in such a way that depression cannot be a strong enough word to indicate just how bad moviegoers have to feel when they leave the theater. This rotten piece of moviemaking won Hopkins the award for just about the worst acting bit in his entire career, if not life. What is Hollywood coming to? How can it be that this time of trouble that nation has gone through, and is still going through, must be illustrated with such intellectual contempt, lack of decency, and in such a way as to encourage near-suicide just from the watching? Turn on Netflix or Amazon and watch something uplifting or maybe Stanley Tucci in his travels around Italy on CNN.
Avoid these highly awarded pieces of absolute crap called Nomadland, Another Round, and Father. You will be the better for it.