Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Go See This Film

TBG and I each heard reviews of Baby Driver.  Neither of us remembers where.  We were struck, individually, by the reviewers' accolades.

I'll see anything with Kevin Spacey, even the latest season of House of Cards.  Jon Hamm's Everyman-with-Attitude is always one-note, spot on perfection; he's really not as deep as he seems. Lady Jane, my companion this afternoon, tells me, with more than a little twinkle in her eye, that Lily James married a black jazz man in Downton Abbey.  Jamie Foxx's over the top crazy is reliably on the edge of terrrifying.

And Eliza Gonzalez, over there on the left if you're reading on your desktop, defines sultry.  She also wields a mean machine gun, because what's a heist movie without guns and cars and babes with weaponry?

And this is, most definitely, a heist movie.

It's also a buddy movie, a romance, a coming of age film.  It's about family and debt and commitment.  There's not a wasted word.  It's predictable in the way that genre movies must be predictable, but it's quirky and surprising and startling, too.

The cinematography is a character in itself.  You are in the booth in the diner, with no space on either side.  Each of the car's windows and mirrors advances the story, often in 4 different directions at the same time.  It's all orchestrated to Baby's iPod playlists and cassette tapes; when an ear bud comes out, the volume goes down in the theater, too.  It makes for an interesting conceit, involving the viewer in the action and the character and the film itself in a way that I'd not felt before.

Ansel Elgort was new to me, but he's apparently a teen heart throb.  He's on screen in every scene, his reaction is the film's reaction, his point of view the focus around everything else (literally) revolves.  It's a quiet, desperate, loving performance, filled with strength that's subtle, brave, and fatalistic.  He's a walking sigh.

There's a love story and a Mom and Dad story and a How Did I Get Into This story rolling around in a bang-bang-shoot-'em-up, blow things up, destroy lots of cars movie that left Lady Jane and me with huge smiles, singing along to Paul Simon.

Go.  You won't regret it.


  1. I saw this a couple weeks ago.... it was a good one! Not what I expected...

    1. I know! It was surprisingly strong in all kinds of interesting ways. I'm still singing along; Paul Simon's Baby Driver is my newest ear worm :-)


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