Killing of a Sacred Deer, Communal Grousing Fun

Immediately following (and actually many times during) my friend Tim and I derisively mocked the film Killing of a Sacred Deer. “Implausible”, “Who cares about these non-emotional people?”, “No mother is ever going to say (with the exception in this silly classic horror film trope), ‘Don’t involve the cops'”.

But there I was the following day in Ft. Myers, defending the film. “Wasn’t it fun to mock?” “Isn’t it a film we won’t forget?” “Did it not hold our suspense?” Hence, I suggest renting it when you really need a distraction from reality.

What was well done, besides the aforementioned suspense? Well, the actors were top notch: you can’t get much bigger or better than Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell for Pete’s sakes. And if they can be monotone for the entire script (with one or two scenes of rare exception) then doggone it, we gotta hand it to them for consistency.

And if some deranged parents convinced their children to act in such bizzaro roles and they’re not scarred (or scared) for life, well, then you’ve got some good family therapists.

Probably who stole the show was Barry Keoghan who from my research had a pretty bizarre upbringing of his own (mother deceased, IMDB implying drug or alcohol abuse) raised by a tough Grandma. Perhaps he has a second career opportunity in figure skating (that’s a bad Tonya Harding joke). Barry was also in Dunkirk which I did not see, unable to do a war movie, since Saving Private Ryan pretty much did me in. But this guy’s going places, hopefully at least out of Grandma’s house.

Of the three Yorgo Lanthimos (writer/director) films I’ve seen, I’d say Dogtooth was my favorite, this one second, followed very closely by The Lobster. And due to the beauty of IMDB, I am now in search of one more Yorgo film I have not seen, Alps. Get it at Redbox and live a little.

Never Say Never: Lion

I said I’d never see Lion because I couldn’t handle a lost child story. Then my son visited for a weekend and he also declined both Manchester and Lion, I think because he’s feeling a bit lost in Brooklyn right now and I assume because he was worried a downer or emotional movie might make him feel more ill at ease.

I have regrets about the planning of his time here, meaning I pulled a Prince (this is a reference of the time I had Prince concert tickets in Toronto (early 2000’s) and asked Liam if he wanted to go-this was when Liam was at an age when his music adoration hadn’t kicked in, so he said he didn’t really need to go, and to this day we both say how sorry we are that I didn’t just say-WE’RE GOING). So this past weekend, I did the same, just kept asking him if he wanted to do this or that (Like a movie) instead of cajoling him and using my motherly instinct to know what’s best for him. I’m the mom who used to say, ‘it’s recreation time’ and get us out on a local baseball diamond where I’d pitch balls or we’d play badminton for a short time. Sure, this past weekend we did in fact, walk the Ringling Bridge and our time wasn’t a negative, but a lot of it was eaten up by visiting well meaning, but stress inducing, folks.

Nothing to do now about the visit except beat myself up more and to better plan the next time, which may mean me going to Manhattan to preserve my sanity. We shall see.

At any rate, a friend in my new home town had sent me a short recording of his playing Fire and Rain on his acoustic guitar yesterday and so, feeling lonely and blue about my son’s going back to NYC and the aforementioned paragraph, ask if he’d be willing to see a movie tonight.

And thank God, we did. LION, directed by Garth Davis and written by Luke Davies was just what the doctor ordered. I already put my mothering instinct into a higher gear since the weekend; making my son a vision board, shipping him Brazil nuts (a good mood food) and calling him twice to see how he was since his return. I may be states away, but he’s going to know I’m here. And as I mentioned, I didn’t need Lion to tell me this, but the film certainly reinforced my maternal importance and power.

The film was gorgeously meditative. This was true visual storytelling. Dialogue isn’t needed to when great actoresses and actors display emotion, of being lost, of being found, being loved, being torn or being obsessed. Dev Patel is a real actor and should never ever go back and do one of those lame Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, or whatever the hell those films are titled. He is very deserving of award nominations and if Casey Affleck didn’t just own acting this year, Dev would be my runner up. And Nicole Kidman is a class act; she is right up there with Meryl Streep in my book. She evokes and makes you forget all of her plastic surgery and her enviously (I want one, too, can you tell?) ebullient relationship with Keith Urban.

So thank you to Trace and thank you to the film Lion, for not only do I now have my maternal roar back in place, but I have a clearer vision of how and who to spend my time and emotion on. As my favorite band in the world sings, “Just when your faith is gone, give it one more day.”
This holds true for the real life person on whom Lion was based and for this real life character calling herself a film blogger.