Afterwards, I watched a couple movies. One, an Oscar-nominated Best Picture film, Little Miss Sunshine.
Little Miss Sunshine
Oh, what a cute little movie. Odd, quirky, funny and sad it’s certainly not worth a Best Picture Oscar nomination but is definitely worth a watch. This family on the edge of a meltdown road trip, directed by Jonathan Dayton, follows the Hoover family as they trek cross-country to ensure their daughter, Olive, can participate in a beauty queen (for 8 year-olds) pageant. On route, flop motivational speaker father, Richard, suicidal brother-in-law Frank, mute son Dwayne and heroin addict grandpa (played by Alan Arkin) all face personal breakdown points. There’s many messages here about love, and support, and commitment to family and it’s all done very well. But Oscar-nominated worthy … for Arkin? for Abigail Breslin? (who plays Olive), for Best Picture? … heavens, I think not! If anything Toni Collette as mom, Sheryl, deserves the nod here for holding this family (and movie) together. Olive, while not winning the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, sure teaches us a few things about dancing and the good stuff little girls are made of. My rating 8 out of 10.
Kairo (aka Pulse)
“Would you like to meet a ghost?” is the essential theme of this 2001 film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Hollywood made an embarrassing remake in 2006 which is an utter disaster (people actually laughed outloud at the screening I attended). The premise is simple, ghosts connecting to our ‘real’ world via the internet. The original Japanese version is a cinematic tour de force focusing on the cult of ‘hikikomori‘ (extreme social isolation) and how in life (as in death) we are essentially alone. Kairo is eerie, deep and dark. More creepy and psychologically scary than blood-and-guts-gross-you-out in its approach, it presents images of isolation and sadness that are truly … haunting. The intelligent philosophy of this film and its magnificent images will follow you into your dreams. A movie, upon reflection, likely to put you in touch with your own inner ghosts. Watch it if you dare. My rating 9 out of 10.