01 July 2014

Film of the Day #8: To Die For

HI!

D'you ever get so tired you feel like your eyeballs might pop/melt/fall out of your head? That is how I feel right now. The urge to nap is strong with this one. Yet I prevail! So brave, I know.
ONTO THE FILM! So, when I was about 15/16 I began to have an unnatural obsession with Joaquin Phoenix. I'm not entirely sure what sparked it, but I'm pretty sure it was Buffalo Soldiers (such a great film). Basically what it lead to, was me obsessively watching my way through his back catalogue, I am a very dedicated obsessive after all. Today's film comes from this search and is the brilliant To Die For.                               


Film of the Day!

The film, directed by Gus Van Sant, follows the ambitious (to a fault) aspiring newsreader Suzanne Stone who is played by Nicole Kidman and is bloody awesome in this film. In her desire to climb her way up the social ladder she marries Larry (Matt Dillion) believing that his family 'connections' (aka Mafia, yo!) and family business will help fund and bolster her attempt to become successful. Larry's genuine love for her leads to him suggesting that she put her career on hold so they can start a family together. Given that Suzanne has shown at this point that she is incapable of loving anyone but herself, this is an intolerable idea to her. So, obviously, she begins to plot a way to get rid of him. Her idea comes to a head when she meets Jimmy (Phoenix) and his friends when she is filming a news segment in the high school. Jimmy and his friends (played by Casey Affleck and Alison Folland) aren't exactly the brightest bulbs (probably due to excessive drug use) they are easily won over by the charismatic and seductive Suzanne. What happens is shown in this mockumentary style film that offers a dark look at ambition and the media.

I feel like I should emphasise just how great Nicole Kidman is in this. She is cold, beautiful, and manipulative to a terrifying point. Hell, if I hadn't seen that fact that she was a total sociopath earlier in the film, she totally coulda convinced me to do anything. She is utterly magnetic. The story itself is fascinating and is so brilliantly told. The mockumentary style is perfect for offering a look at the ruthless nature of media and how it can be manipulated in what is, or isn't shown. We see Suzanne's story as told by her, as told by the news and we see what actually happens. The variations in the version of events and the justifications of actions are what makes the film so satisfying. Here, beauty becomes something to use and exploit, it excuses people in the eyes of the media. This is a darkly funny film in how it views society and the desire to become famous for anything. It invites us to watch and judge these people and their quest to be 'somebody', whilst also reminding us that we actively participate in this quest in our own day-to-day life (think Kardashian). To cut what could turn into a very long discussion short; it's SO GOOD.

Alright! I'll leave the rambling there for tonight, I hope you enjoyed and found a new film to maybe watch. If you've seen it and have any thoughts, drop me a comment down below or on any of my social media. If you haven't seen it, you can still drop me a comment anywhere haha. And don't forget, I am open to any and all suggestions! I hope you're all well. Talk to (at) you tomorrow! :)

Becca.

P.S. As is now becoming an odd tradition, have a picture of an attractive man. Have to say, that social experiment thing Joaquin Phoenix did when he pretended to retire and become a rapper and grew a mental beard, makes it quite hard to fancy him anymore. I'll console myself with this lovely picture of when he was less weird. Or at least, when I wasn't aware he was weird. 
Dem eyes.

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