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The Unbearable Lightness of Baking - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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June 2nd, 2008


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11:21 am - The Unbearable Lightness of Baking
A week and a half ago, arbitrarium and I saw a free screening of The Fall, a new (made in 2006 but only recently released) movie starring Lee Pace and directed by the guy who did The Cell (which I haven't seen). The premise is that Lee Pace is bedridden in a hospital, and he starts telling this story to a girl with a broken arm, and the story sort of shifts and evolves as she gets into it. It's cute. The girl is adorable and totally hilarious. She's not an actress, so a lot of her performance was improvised, which works perfectly since she's so naturally cute that anything she says is gold. She cracks you up and breaks your heart; she's a very believably naive child. And what's also fun is that it's from the perspective of the girl, so you don't really understand all that's going on with Lee Pace at first, and you have to piece it all together from things people around him are saying (and what he says) that she doesn't really comprehend.

Also? Lee Pace has ARMS.

The movie was generally neat. Good but not great (arbitrarium disagrees, as she loved it). A leetle pretentious but not as much as you'd think. The story-within-the-story is mostly deliberately cheesy nonsense, which is sort of disappointing. But the relationship between Lee Pace and the girl is solid, and that's the real point of the movie. What I really liked about the movie was that although it starts out as a story he's telling her, it becomes a story shared between them. And you know I love stories about stories.

I think a lot of the behind-the-scenes stories about the movie are great, though. The movie was a passion project for the director, who funded it with his own money, even though this involved shooting in over 18 different countries. There is a fantastical blue city that is not CGI: the crew gave the townspeople blue paint to paint their roofs. Catinca Untaru, who plays the little girl, thought Lee Pace was actually paraplegic, so the director decided to fake the entire cast and crew out. And so on.

The main thing people go ga-ga over, however, is the visuals, which are sumptuous and gorgeous and all sorts of other -ouses. Personally, I was not that bowled over because the great visuals weren't in service of a worthy story (as I said, the story-within-the-story is kind of pointless in and of itself), but that doesn't mean the movie wasn't a treat to look at. It's certainly different. typicrobots has picspammed the trailer, so you can see how gosh-darn pretty it is.

The comments there are what inspired me to go ahead and post about the movie myself since I realized a lot of you might not be aware of this movie at all. It's in pretty limited release, but if you want to see Lee Pace fight with a sword, Tarsem Singh has fulfilled your wishes.

And following the Lee Pace -> Pushing Daisies -> pie -> Waitress trajectory, I will also add that last night, I watched Waitress, which kept with the thematics of 2007 by being about both pregnancy and pie. It was a lovely little movie and absolutely hilarious at times, so understated with its humor, like it hardly acknowledges its punchlines. Keri Russell disappears into her character; it's amazing what an accent will do! And that Fillion guy all the ladies like so much does his Fillion thing, more with the adorably awkward than the heroic bravado. The supporting characters are also very entertaining. I had some small issues with the ending, but it was still sweet and fun overall.
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(22 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:jeeperstseepers
Date:June 2nd, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
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I had some small issues with the ending, but it was still sweet and fun overall.

What were your issues with the ending? I thought it was as good an ending as was possible for the story, which I had extreme difficulty with.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 2nd, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
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The relationship with the doctor just sort of...ends, kind of anticlimactically, and it's hard to tell what the point of it all really was when Jenna's real epiphany appears to come when she sees her baby (although I guess he did show her that she had the ability to be happy); and I really didn't think Earl would just disappear from her life that easily, especially if she stayed in the same town. Like I said, very small issues. Don't know what I would have preferred, exactly, and I think the ending works just fine as is. Just wasn't entirely what I was expecting.

Was your difficulty with the story because it was about double adultery? Because, yeah. I feel like TV and movies are skewing my view of the world. Is adultery really that prevalent? Can no one help themselves?
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From:smrou
Date:June 2nd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
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I feel like TV and movies are skewing my view of the world. Is adultery really that prevalent?
Dude, I have this issue, too. I mean, on TV and in movies it's like people just can't help but be unfaithful. It happens all the freaking time! Now, I realize that people do cheat in real life, but it can't be that incredibly common, can it?

Also, I have a lot of trouble watching stories involving infidelity. It tends to make me extremely uncomfortable and is generally just not at all enjoyable for me. However I somehow really enjoyed Waitress. Actually, I think I may be reaching a point where I've seen so much infidelity on TV and in movies that it doesn't affect me as strongly anymore, which frankly makes me kind of sad.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
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It it just recently that I'm discovering how incredibly similar we are about certain things? Why have I not noticed this before? I need to add you to my list of braintwins.

Also, I have a lot of trouble watching stories involving infidelity. It tends to make me extremely uncomfortable and is generally just not at all enjoyable for me.
I don't have as strong a reaction as some people, but it does bug me. Especially on The Wire, where it seems like every male character I like (hell, even the ones I don't) is also a cheater.

Actually, I think I may be reaching a point where I've seen so much infidelity on TV and in movies that it doesn't affect me as strongly anymore, which frankly makes me kind of sad.
I know. It's starting to feel...normal. And an accepted human behavior.
[User Picture]
From:smrou
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
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It it just recently that I'm discovering how incredibly similar we are about certain things? Why have I not noticed this before?
It seems to be coming out more recently.

Especially on The Wire, where it seems like every male character I like (hell, even the ones I don't) is also a cheater.
Yes, they aren't very good at remaining faithful on that show.
[User Picture]
From:lynevere
Date:June 3rd, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
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Agreed. I had issues with Enchanted for the same reason, which were exacerbated by it being a family film. I just can't get behind breaking up a 5 year relationship.

I recently read an article discussing how badly weddings turn out in movies. (How someone will come in at the last moment and break off the wedding, etc.) Forces of Nature was mentioned as the rare movie where it's acknowledged that you can be attracted to someone and still remain faithful to your partner. It doesn't seem like that novel of a concept, but I can't think of many movies where it happens... I suppose mature people make for a less exciting movie.
[User Picture]
From:jeeperstseepers
Date:June 2nd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
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How did you do blackbars?!

Yes, my difficulty was with the adultery stuff. In her case, I sort of got it (even though I still feel it was wrong), but on his end, it was gross and inexcusable on so many levels.

I saw her revelation being at a different point. I saw it as being when she saw...a certain very nice woman.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
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How did you do blackbars?!
[span style="background-color:black;"][font color="black"]SPOILER[/font][/span]

I have it saved in my LJ Add-ons Insets.

In her case, I sort of got it (even though I still feel it was wrong), but on his end, it was gross and inexcusable on so many levels.
Yeah, I understood her motivation. Jeremy Sisto is really good at playing horribly needy dudes you just want to strangle. But we never really get his motivation, and they de-emphasize the fact that he's married so you'll go along with it more easily.

I saw her revelation being at a different point. I saw it as being when she saw...a certain very nice woman.
A certain very nice, very pretty woman! I think that was one revelation, certainly.

Speaking of very nice, very pretty women, I didn't realize until the end that Dawn, the red-haired waitress, was Adrienne Shelly (the writer-director, who was murdered before learning that the film was accepted to Sundance).
[User Picture]
From:jeeperstseepers
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Speaking of very nice, very pretty women, I didn't realize until the end that Dawn, the red-haired waitress, was Adrienne Shelly (the writer-director, who was murdered before learning that the film was accepted to Sundance).

Oh, yeah, it's so sad. That whole story got a lot of coverage here starting before the movie came out and continuing when it was a success with critics and audiences. So I knew the whole time who she was, and it probably affected the way I watched the movie--it was hard for me not to think about the sadness. But the fact that there were moments I started forgetting and just got caught up in the charm of Shelly's character shows that she did a really good job playing her part. And I could be wrong about this, but I think I remember them saying that the little girl at the end is Shelly's daughter.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Yep, that's right.

I'm glad I'd forgotten she was an actress (which is funny because it's what she was better known for: she was even on an episode of Oz!) so I didn't have to think about that. I felt sad watching Kellie Waymire's episodes of Six Feet Under. And it's going to be weird seeing Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. But maybe it won't be as weird because he'll be under so much makeup.
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From:arbitrarium
Date:June 3rd, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
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So I knew the whole time who she was, and it probably affected the way I watched the movie
I watched the movie and THEN I read the Wikipedia entry on it and learned about the murder. Completely freaked me out. So sad.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jeeperstseepers
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
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Heh, thanks. Newsies is awesome, and it makes me sad that Christian Bale is embarrassed by it.
[User Picture]
From:smrou
Date:June 2nd, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Christian Bale is embarrassed by it.
What?! I did not know that! Silly Christian.
[User Picture]
From:bends
Date:June 3rd, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
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Also? Lee Pace has ARMS.

Well now I have a double incentive to see this- The visuals sound like they live up to the awesomeness that was the trailer, and now I have to find listings.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
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Maybe the Angelika will get it.
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From:glasseseater
Date:June 3rd, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
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It sounds worth it just to see the blue roofs.
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From:mycenae
Date:June 3rd, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
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Lee Pace <3<3<3 I saw The Fall last summer (at the LA Film Festival) and was immediately gaga over him. (So much so that I even dragged my lazy self out to the early morning screening of the Pushing Daisies pilot at Comic Con.) I really loved the movie, but I saw it completely blind with absolutely no clue what I was going to be seeing (it was a secret screening) and I was just blown away by the whole thing. It was amazing, but I fear that it's the sort of film that becomes less amazing the more times you hear other people tell you it's amazing. It was a fantastical love letter to the power of imagination and it made me laugh and cry and dream a bit, and really that's all I can want from movies.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I'll bet it would be completely dazzling if you had no idea what to expect.
[User Picture]
From:mycenae
Date:June 3rd, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
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I think that's the first time I've seen the word "dazzling" out of the context of Twilight in about a month. It really confused me for a second.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
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Ha ha ha ha.
[User Picture]
From:arbitrarium
Date:June 3rd, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
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(arbitrarium disagrees, as she loved it)
Hells yeah I disagree!

The story-within-the-story is mostly deliberately cheesy nonsense, which is sort of disappointing.
I think it's realistic that the guy isn't an amazing story teller. It's clunky and random and there's Charles Darwin.

I don't know if I'll ever love my own child as much as I love that little girl. Just hearing her voice in my head makes me smile.
[User Picture]
From:the_narration
Date:June 3rd, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
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I saw the trailer for this in front of the last couple movies I went to go see, and I thought it looked really interesting. I don't tend to catch a lot of movies anymore (pretty sad for a guy who lives in a city hosting an Internation Film Festival) but I think I'm going to try to see this one.

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