>There was an interesting bit of the Jamie Lee Curtis - Colin
>Farrell Actors on Actors conversation that Variety did where
>Curtis more or less said she sympathized with Colm, because
>the older you get and the more precious you realize time is,
>the more you cut friends out and remove anything from your
>life that isn't of immediate value. And they discussed how,
>when those sorts of necessary removals happen, it's never
>going to be clean. Some interesting perspective, especially
>when combined with the very clear depression Colm is going
>through (and I believe admits to near the end, if memory
Yeah, plus the priest keeps asking him about "the despair" in confession. Despair is a rather serious sin in our church, but a mental health "system" that leans in sacramental confession is probably not going to have a lot of useful things to say about despair besides "don't." I'm hardly one to argue with Jamie Lee Curtis, but I'm certainly not and I don't think the film was as sympathetic to Colm as she is here. This is where I wish that their argument in the bar had gotten more traction, especially given the way you drop the word "value" into the middle of their friendship - which seems rather apt to the way their relationship is breaking down. The argument in the bar is about how they perceive the value of their life, and so their friendship. Colm's position is, to me, selfish and acquisitive. If he'd kept it about the creation of art, something beautiful for the sake of adding beautiful things (music, in this case) to the world then I think I'd be more comfortable feeling for him. But instead, he was talking about a personal legacy, something that *he* could leave the world that would make his name last. The desire for something to last, meaningfully, from our lives does seem like a pretty fruitful axis for despair, but this was also one of the rare moments where Padraic seemed thoughtful and intuitive about his relationship in the world. Just *being* is meaningful and has value for him, and he almost puts together an elegant case for it, even if he leans a bit too hard on the bland term "nice".
I don't know. McDonagh clearly doesn't want us to pick teams here, but I couldn't always help it. Colm appealed to what is worst about me and Padraic appealed to what is best, even if the best of me isn't very interesting.
>And I definitely think McDonagh dodges an easy-to-define
>worldview. He loves finding the gray area, shoving characters
>in there, giving them frightening turns of violence to reckon
>with, and seeing how they respond. His plays are certainly
>filled to the brim with this, as are, to some extent, his
My mother is a huge fan of his plays and movies, in spite of not caring for violent work in almost any other context. He reminds me of Flannery O'Connor in what is emerging as a pretty durable outlook: to be able to change is grace, but grace and change aren't easy. They're violent and explosive and abrupt and awful while it's happening. You'd have to be pretty stupid to want things to change, but sometimes they need to.
And now, I've accidentally gone and written myself into solidarity with Colm's grim, fingerless position. So yeah - nothing easy happening here.
>(A big reason why so many people responded so negatively to
>Three Billboards, I suspect, is the idea of people not wanting
>to see a racist cop put into a situation where his response to
>violence might merit redemption. But I do *not* think taking a
>"right" action-- if such a thing truly exists in his world--
>is the same thing as meriting redemption in McDonagh's eyes,
>neither in Three Billboards, nor Banshees, nor any of his
>movies or plays.)
I think I agree, except with the stipulation that redemption can be an "is" and not an "ought". He combines a Catholic requirement for inherent righteousness but also sees that redemptive grace as a bomb dropped into the middle of our life. If we have to reborn into order to be saved, that rebirth is going to hurt real bad and destroy everything we cared about because what's the point of change that doesn't demand that of us.
I actually rewatched In Bruges the other day, but I'm not sure if I have Three Billboards in me yet. That one was really rough.
>(And all that having been said, there's also just a degree to
>which people *gel* with a certain writer's style, where it's
>very, very much for them, and even if/when things don't always
>work in their work, you're still left with that dialogue that
>absolutely pushes the right buttons for you and gets you to
>connect regardless. And McDonagh kinda is that guy for me. So
>it's hard for me to remain anything even resembling objective
>with my thoughts on his work when I'm still just swimming in
>the *experience* of getting to sit in a theater and hear
>dialogue like that. My response often just boils down to
>"fuck, it's a blessing that something like this still gets
>made. Who wants to get a drink?" lol)
First, I am very impressed with the length of the last two parenthetical asides. That's some good, weird work.
But also - of course, but you consume enough of the moviearts that I don't really think you need to justify yourself here. It's not like your failure at objectivity doesn't have any context because you're only taking in Martin McDonagh films. I feel like I've had artists that I've felt this way about, and then, with the fullness of time and their career realized that it was just as much fun to talk about which work really fleshes out their vision, which work maybe fails, and which stuff is just weird and different.
"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"