Nicolas Winding Refn’s & Hossein Amini’s Drive

Drive is about perfection. Which is to say PERFECTION is what Drive IS DOING. Ryan Gosling for example has no pores. Pores for him would be a marker of defeat. There is no defeat in Ryan Gosling’s complexion. His complexion is a flawless ecosystem of radiance and coincidental lubrications. Ryan Gosling’s face is in fact an epiphyte. An epiphyte collecting its radiance from the moisture and nutrients in the air and rain and other coincidental detritus.

There is something perfect about watching a cat chase a mouse. Especially when the cat is deranged Albert Brooks armed with many shivs and abalone-encrusted razorblades.

People who saw Anton Corbijn’s The American know it was not perfect. The American did not contain Ryan Gosling for one thing. Well, Ryan Gosling could never be CONTAINED. But The American did not make an attempt to touch Ryan Gosling, did not attempt to CORRAL him, which was its primary mistake. In other ways The American was allowed to share some characteristics of Drive’s perfection. Its sparseness. Its assiduous attention to the movement and pacing of THE SCENE. Its desire to connect lonely souls for momentary alleviations of sufferings. Its desire to tear loved ones apart so as to intensify the sensation of longing. Its longing. Its willingness to produce longing. A longing to break from unsalvageable situations.

Sofia Coppola should sue Drive. For one thing Drive has stolen HER MOVIE from her. They have stolen HER MOVIE and made it better than she could have made it. That is the most painful form of stealing. As when a thief steals your lemons and makes his lemonade. As when a thief steals your girlfriend and puts her on a diet. Drive gives the illusion the narrative is meandering when the opposite is true. Each deviation adds up to the tightly-wound contraption of their narrative.

No Country for Old Men was perfect but not because of Javier Bardem’s haircut. Or was it? Maybe aesthetic perfection can be achieved by making a handsome man very, very ugly.

Oscar Isaac does something ingenious with his role. He saves his role from being easily forgettable. He is his own savior. That is sort of like being Jesus Christ if Jesus only saved one person. And that person was a role in a movie.

Violence – too much? A lot of spurting involved. A lot of spurting and Ryan Gosling stomping his boot through skulls. Skulls are like pumpkins to this guy.

Music. David Lynch thinks music should be very intrusive upon the spell the movie is making. David Lynch also thinks the Transcendental Meditation technique is going to help him levitate. The soundtrack of Drive does seem to levitate and speak above our conscious desires. When I put the Drive soundtrack in my own car I did think I was levitating for a moment, but it turned out I was only driving very slowly up a hill. Then I felt disappointed in the car I was driving. Conversely my car felt even more disappointed I was not Ryan Gosling.

Carey Mulligan is looking good as a blonde.

Slow motion. No one uses slow motion anymore. That is because nothing is perfect anymore except for brevity. But Drive is not afraid of slow motion. So as to prolong brevity. So as to prolong the only scrap of perfection that is offered to us.

Best movie out right now . . . $11

If you heart Drive:

Recommendations by Day Gun Sho
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Wild at Heart
Punch-Drunk Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love

For a star studded cast, Crazy, Stupid, Love fell a little bit short of expectations. There was too much hype and too much expectation before I saw the movie. And while watching the film, I began to doubt whether I really liked movies starring Steve Carell as the main lead and the disappointment mirrored my experience when watching Date Night, except substitute Mila Kunis with Ryan Gosling as the resident hottie.

The biggest excitement of the film hands down is Ryan Gosling…I mean the only reaction you can possibly have whether you’re a guy, girl, single or not, straight, gay is HOT DAMN when you see those artfully crafted chiseled fucken abs. It was refreshing to see Ryan Gosling in a film where his function was to be just a hot piece of meat. I feel like I haven’t seen that in awhile…he’s either wooing his lady fans as the tragically lovesick lead in rom coms like The Notebook or beautifully tragic and dejected lead in Blue Valentine. It was quite cheesy the way they milk his hotness down to the Dirty Dancing “homage,” but you know nobody cares. It was actually funny to see and hear the reaction of the audience as they squirm in their seats in excitement.

Here, he plays a womanizer who volunteers his services to help Steve Carell rediscover his manhood with a makeover (one that I was not seeing significant transformation, but whatevers). Steve Carell plays the same used up role as in his other films. Frankly, it hasn’t really worked since The 40 Year Old Virgin. I will give this character more credit as it has a little more depth as he struggles between holding onto the love of his life and regaining his dignity.

The women in this film certainly took a back seat to the budding bromance of Steve and Ryan. The only thing I would say is that they didn’t really add or detract from the film. I don’t think Julianne Moore or Emma Stone was particularly great. I didn’t find their chemistry with their respective pairings particularly convincing, but I also don’t expect much of that from this sort of romcoms. Marisa Tomei was funny. Overall, the movie was entertaining, but fell a little flat. Definitely, not the best comedy of its class of the year as some might claim. The key is to watch with no expectation and you’ll walk out pleased. $6

If you heart Crazy, Stupid, Love:

Recommendations from Lil D:
Date Night
The Hangover
Bridesmaids

OSCAR PICKS

In anticipation for the upcoming Oscars, the Fat Kids are making Oscar picks.  Here are the picks for the Mug.  They are RANKED in order from choicest pick at the top, to suckiest at the bottom.  The films that have not been seen are marked “N/A”.  And for the record, best leading actor should have gone to Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine.

BEST PICTURE

Black Swan

 

 

The Social Network
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
True Grit
Winter’s Bone
The Kids Are All Right
Toy Story 3
Inception
127 Hours (N/A)

ACTRESS IN LEADING ROLE

Natalie Portman

 

 

Nicole Kidman
Michelle Williams
Jennifer Lawrence
Annette Bening

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Colin Firth

 

 

Jeff Bridges
Jesse Eisenberg
James Franco (N/A)
Javier Bardem (N/A)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Hailee Steinfield

 

 

Melissa Leo
Amy Adams
Helena Bonham Carter
Jacki Weaver (N/A)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Christian Bale

 

 

John Hawkes
Geoffrey Rush
Mark Ruffalo
Jeremy Renner (N/A)

DIRECTING

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

 

 

David O. Russel for The Fighter
David Fincher for The Social Network
Tom Hopper for The King’s Speech
Coen Brothers for True Grit

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