Mister Dennis, Wanda, Mr Dennis discussed on Filmspotting



I guess he's got a real good finance. Real by. What about the kids? Yeah. I saw that picture in your wallet. There with him. Better off with. Just No. Good. It is a performance, but it's not performance live. That's how I feel watching low nimby higgins is a little bit more but I know this is implicit in what you were saying about that bar scene, not only the obligation she feels but the obligation she feels because of now what that man feels he's entitled to exactly and this is this is where that of Eddie's comparison comes back into play. You're right four years before a woman under the influence and Wanda. Is, one and she is troubled. She's unstable could probably come up with five or six more adjectives to describe her but I think like Mabel. She's a character who we come to understand has been handed rolls by society. This is this is what you do. This is what a woman like you does. You become a wife, you become a mother and these roles didn't fit her and she had no say in it whatsoever and I like the storytelling approach her by load again, she doesn't really spell things out too much. We come to understand this basically from those opening scenes, it informs that understanding because we see. Her wake up on the couch we see that she's probably living with her sister and she's got the crying baby and the husband's going off to work and we see from his reaction how he feels about Wanda staying there and am I recall correctly the sister the wife in this sequence she even says to her husband is he goes out the door angrily Oh, come on back and get some coffee. It's she knows that she she has that job that no matter. The circumstances or how big of a jerk he's being it's her role, right? It's her role to ultimately serve him and give him coffee and even in that custody seen I mentioned this is another one where right the father, the former husband and the judge in the sequence have all the power to decide how she should behave as a woman and a lot of this is prescribed and dictated to her and it's funny Sam mentioned this to me in slack and he. Actually commented along these lines in his review on letterbox he had this framing of the movie or this lens on it that was seeing the whole story in a way as a metaphor for life as an actress, and it's something when he mentioned it to me, I had to admit it's not something that occurred to me at all or I was A to. But I was watching scenes today and there is that sequence where she's in the bathtub with Mr Dennis in the. Other room on the bed and they're setting up the heist scene right and she has turned down this role of playing the part. He wants her to play right numerous times of to this point saying I can't go through with it. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to put people in danger or whatever we have to assume for ourselves. What it is that might be bothering her about this. She simply doesn't want to do it, but she does acquiesce. or I suppose maybe a better way to say it was she just finally gives up and stops resisting and she's rehearsing her lines and she's taking his direction and it just made me think that when you have no agency which she doesn't, you can then understand the impulse to relinquish it completely right you want me to be this I'll be that it's easier than resisting. It's easier than having to kind of make decisions for yourself and act in suffer the consequences of it. And that's why it's so important that a short time after this, we finally do see her exert her will right with a man that is what really brought me back really to a woman under the influence is yes there's the the overall Kesse veggies esque aesthetic and there's that comparison to Mabel in terms of performance maybe even a little bit too though in general I think is giving what we would say is a bigger performance but what they're rebelling against Yeah and Want is doing it in a much more subtle and passive way but the rebelling against the same thing which is being put into roles that they never asked for aren't really right for. Yeah. Absolutely and this is where her relationship with Mr. Dennis's is really interesting because it's it's sexual, but it's also parental in a strange way and professional in the way you're describing where he's directing her where he's her boss in this heist the very fact that she calls him Mister Dennis. Is, weirdly professional or how about the moment I? Think this is the first dinner together. She's sloppily eating this plate of Spaghetti and he says, wipe your mouth will you like she's this little kid and this? So it's in this relationship she's bound up in all of these roles that society expects of her it's a it's like Mr Dennis has kind of she's this perfect storm of everything. He wants her to be yeah, and maybe she doesn't want to be any of them you know. But who could she be? That's what she never gets a chance to even explore. That's the tragedy of this. Right and that's where we you know we can go to the end and where the movie is where she's you know she's freed of of Mr Dennis to an extent but where does she end up? She's in another bar right she's in she's at this boozy loud table smashed in between these people and for all we know there's another Mr Dennis at that table and I think load-ins camera in that against is pretty astonishing where Kinda squeeze squeezes it's way right into that claustrophobic mix and finds her face and another element physicality to load-ins performance. She struck me as this like fawn you know this gangly fawn. Kind of stumbling about in the forest and here it's like she's trapped. She's just suddenly been hopelessly trapped and it's this is one reason why it's a hard watch think yeah. Well, I even like the precursor to that scene where she's now wandered away from a pretty tough encounter with a man, it's dark and the way the camera follows her hand held as she approaches this bar where she can hear the music coming. She looks completely disheveled in unnerved and the camera is accordingly a little bit Shakey and you see someone emerge at the top of the stairs man who even said something to her a little bit unintelligible like, Hey, are. You Okay and watching it again today Josh it was like I completely would buy that that was just a guy in that room walked out and and yet he saw the camera but he also saw this woman looking as terrified as she looks and felt like he needed ask her if she needed help that's that's kind of the trick right there we're talking about with this movie but that bar sequence at the end in particular I think it does give us our second great final shot of the week I won't spoil the Dick Johnson is dead final shot that we get but that freeze frame Oh. Yeah. On loden is just this Look. Of Utter. Utter exhaustion and and right it also..

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