Another Adults Home Alone Feature: Aberdeen

In the rabbit hole of what to watch, I happened upon Aberdeen from 2000, written and directed by Hans Petter Moland (his most recent film was Out Stealing Horses [2019] which garnered several awards in Norway).

Aberdeen stars Lena Headey who I’m probably the only person on Earth who didn’t know who she was (Game of Thrones heart throb). Before knowing this, I thought admiringly, even as a binary, at her beauty AND even more importantly, her tremendous actress prowess.

Co-starring with Headey is an actor I’ve expressed admiration for in the past, Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, a Lars Von Trier go-to and apparently a favorite of Moland also starring in the aforementioned Out Stealing Horses) does his usual yeoman’s job as Headey’s drunken Dad.

The movie had enough twists and turns to keep me entertained. Like other well done father daughter films (Toni Erdmann being my fave) this dysfunctional duo seems very realistic. Ian Hart puts in a nuanced show as Headye’s lover and Charlotte Rampling does her best with what’s she’s given, a la Dianne Weist in The Mule, a bedridden dying woman.

Worth a look if your home alone and need an adult drama.

45 Years, What Lies Beneath

45 Years

Guilty admission: I only went to see this film because of a traumatic relationship experience in which the ‘man of my dreams’ played a song on his acoustic guitar and claimed that it was our song (My One and Only Love by Coltrane). Months (not years, thank heavens) into our relationship and many requests by me to hear the song both in our house and at a jazz club, he received a card from a woman named Kate, signed My One and Only Love.

Being the masochist I can be on occasion, I went to watch something much more haunting on the big screen The therapeutic payoff was worth it. To see Charolotte Rampling struggle against wanting to snoop into the attic boxes, to see her ruminations in the pained expression of her face, helped me re-live and simultaneously diminish the power of my hurt feelings.

Marriage, I fully realize, has many benefits. On the other hand, when a major deception, a hidden hurtful truth or unmet yearning is revealed, the state of devastation is much more overwhelming. I have witnessed a dedicated 40 year marriage devolve into abandonment and cruelty and wonder if being single isn’t much more palatable.

Does Charlotte Rampling deserve the Oscar? Nah, but it is a tremendous psychological performance. I thought Tom Courtenay did just as fine a job portraying the bumbling, babbling brook of a man upended by a letter from Germany. Due to his shiftiness (and as an audience member we debate: ‘or is he merely elderly’?), we suspect his words and share in Charlotte’s despair.

Worth a rental on a rainy day, but possibly toxic to a marriage on the brink of any destructive confessions.