Tag Archives: film reviews

Fifty Shades of Grey & Why I Keep Defending Women’s Trash

Fifty-Shades-DIY-640x480In this fantasy he shows up at my boring job and we have an awkward but meaningful conversation. In this fantasy he just happens to walk by my house when I’m outside reading a Victorian novel and wearing a really flattering top. In this fantasy he shows up at the bar and I don’t accidentally have my first kiss ever with the wrong guy. In this fantasy he wants me so much that it drives him insane. In this fantasy he can barely control himself.

I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey in NYC’s Union Square at noon on a Tuesday. It had been out for ten days. The Internet had said the stars had no chemistry and obviously hated sex. A lot of my Facebook friends had said I should boycott it because it romanticized an abusive relationship. Rory and Alison had told me the sex scenes were incredibly boring, but the paperwork scenes were delightful. Marisa had posted a photo on Instagram of her and Matt looking sad after they watched it. So I basically knew what to expect. Continue reading


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In the Shadow of the Father: The Power of the Patriarch in Ginger & Rosa

Based on her previous contribution to feminist cinema, it comes as no surprise that Sally Potter’s latest film delivers a female coming-of-age tale that is deeply personal and deeply political. Ginger & Rosa, which was released in 2012, failed to achieve the kind of attention a film of its caliber deserves. A striking indictment of masculinity, male entitlement, and a treatise on the varying motivations behind political action, Ginger & Rosa tells much more than the story of its two teen protagonists’ ascension to adulthood. The two father figures in the film, one present, one not, frame the story, embodying the Western notion of the “patriarch.” Potter invites us to examine the power of the father figure, the complex relationship women have with the men in their lives, that the power of the father figure is not always evil, but it is always present.

Set in 1962, in the flurry following the bombing of Hiroshima, the film features Ginger (Elle Fanning), a young woman who’s swept up in the Ban the Bomb movement, dragging her best friend Rosa (Alice Englert) along with her. The two, who were born on the same day in the same hospital, embark on what begins as a sweet and intimate friendship. They share baths, cigarettes, dating tips, and straightening irons. The gulf between them is slowly revealed as Ginger becomes more enmeshed in protest movements and Rosa shows herself to be more preoccupied with boys. Continue reading

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But She Really Was: Gone Girl and the False Accusation

When I was reading Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl—sometime in early October, right before the movie came out—there was this one plot twist I was scared of reading, and as I got further and further into the book I got more and more scared. It’s kind of the main plot twist, and I’d read spoilers, but that was before I had any interest in reading Gone Girl, so my understanding of how it was going to work was hazy. “This is fun so far, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to handle it when that happens,” I worried early on. “Oh my God,” I thought to myself, about a third of the way through, “that’s who NPH plays, oh no.” Then I got to a point where I was like, “Wait, maybe this will be okay. Maybe I can bring myself to read it if this is what happens.” And then I was like, “Oh, wow, that’s how it’s going to happen.I was glad it was going to happen. I was like, “Hooray for Amy Dunne! What a brilliant and accomplished young woman.”


I hope I grow up to be this alert and well-coiffed!

I describe this process not to demonstrate how I developed Stockholm syndrome from drinking in too much of the brilliant prose of Gone Girl, like how you read Lolita and you’re like, “Ooh, I hope Humbert Humbert gets to make out with Lolita,” at least you are until he says something like, “You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.” I’m describing how my feelings about this plot twist shifted because that was how I realized that everyone had lied about it.

Well, they misrepresented it.



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