THE WORLD TO COME (in theatres)
Two contemporary films about same sex relationships that beg comparisons. Notably, the grander of the two is “The World to Come” directed by Mona Fastvold starring Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby; two finely- tuned, intelligent women in boorish marriages, narrowly earning a livelihood in 1856; farmland unrelenting in its ruthlessness; even the fittest scarcely survive; as told through the eyes of journalist “Abigail” (Waterston) whose husband, “Dyer” (Casey Affleck) oblivious to his wife’s needs, stimuli, desires, expects only her daily chores be attended to; neighbors invade their isolated terrain and Abigail meets her soulmate “Tally” (Kirby) luridly luscious, with discerning acuity, matching Abigail’s poetic insightfulness, slowly, soothingly the women discover the meaning of existence, fulfillment in their restricted, constricted, 19th century, censored milieu.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!
I CARE A LOT (Netflix)
Director J. Blakeson’s, 21st century drama where same sex pairings are taboo free, no longer sly, secretive scenes, raised eyebrows, titillation replaced by mundanity; “Maria” (Rosamund Pike) and “Fran” (Eiza Gonzalez) relationship was established before the film commenced; they are slick, slippery con artists using the judicial system to bilk unsuspecting senior citizens of their wealth and assets by having them mandated to a care facility; Pike is imaginatively, fiercely terrific in the film; her pillared poise, cunning, false, radiant smile, prove irresistibly daunting to a judge unprotected from her guile. Maria misjudges her “mark” in stripping “Jennifer Peterson” (wonderful, ageless Dianne Wiest) of her viability as an independent, 69 year old retiree; Jennifer’s baggage includes the malicious miscreant “Roman Lunyov” (Peter Dinklage, perpetually proving that “good things come in small packages”); he and Maria are well matched, amoral geniuses, plotting the untoward.
In recent films women of substance have had their sexual preferences splayed across the screen: “Blue is the Warmest Color”, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, “Ammonite” all intriguing, analytical studies. “I Care a Lot” unfortunately, is a sensational vapid spoof, lacking the entrails of a fine “portrait”, but guarantees Pike’s exponential rise in Hollywood and its myriad of pastures yet untrammeled.
TWO & ½ STARS!!