You know when you go to a movie, and you don’t really feel like going but then it’s really, really good and you’re really, really glad you made the effort to haul your lazy ass to the cinema? Well, that didn’t happen to me last night.
So the film festival is on, and as usual Joel got all excited about heading to a bunch of movies and as usual he roped me into going to a few. Last night we made a date with some friends to go to our favourite Chinese restaurant so we could enjoy some decadent Peking Duck before heading to the award-winning movie Tree of Life which was playing at The Civic. I woke up feeling shitty yesterday – this cold has gone next level and is really messing with me – but I was determined not to pull out of the evening.
Dinner was delicious, but I was not very good company. I pretty much spent the whole meal zoning out in a cold-induced delirium. At that point I should have bailed, but I didn’t.
We spent ages driving around in the pouring rain looking for a park. When we finally got one it was close to movie time so we made a mad dash to the theatre. Our seats were about five rows from the back of the circle, so we were a fair distance from the screen and it’s mighty weird looking down at a movie from that far away.
There was a mixup with our seats, which is always a good time right? The usher managed to sort it just as the lights dimmed and I’m fairly sure the folks behind us were just delighted with the disruption.
Within the first ten minutes I knew I wasn’t going to like this movie. It was like a parody of an artsy movie. Long, boring, full of either too subtle or too obvious symbolism. Did I mention it was long? And it felt even longer considering my nose was literally dripping, I was doing my very best not to fight the urge to cough for two and a half hours, and the left side of my bum went to sleep about an hour into the film.
While everyone else sat still, fixated on the garbage that was unravelling onscreen (though ‘unravelling’ would indicate the presence of a storyline… there really wasn’t one) I found myself shifting in my seat every few minutes. I felt like an elephant sitting on a unicycle. At one point I leaned over and whispered to Joel that I was going to have to leave, but I managed to stick it out for the full two and a half hours.
As the final scene faded out, some of the audience applauded. I nearly joined them, but for entirely different reasons… I was just glad it was over. I am not sure I have ever felt so trapped in a cinema as I did last night.
As I type, Joel is heading back to The Civic to see Beginners which promises to be more appealing to me than Tree of Life, if only based on the fact the characters appear to talk in a volume louder than a whisper, and it would also seem to have actual dialogue. I’m not with Joel because the cold really got the better of me today and I’ve been a bit, um… phlegmy. Gross.
Have any of you seen Tree of Life? I’d love to know what you thought. It’s a polarising movie for sure, as indicated when I did a quick search on Twitter today and found these two tweets one after the other: