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Binky International Film Festival: Day Six

Hello and welcome to Day Six of “Binky International Film Festival”! I hope you’re all enjoying the holidays. This time of the year is the time where friends and families gather, the time for joy and celebration. So I thought it would be the right time to take a look at some of the most depressing movies of 2011. 🙂 Hey, it’s easier to discuss these movies when we’re in a festive joyful mood than when we’re actually really depressed, right?

There are quite a few “Depression-Inducing Flicks” that came out in 2011 but I only had the energy to see four of them, because I still like my life and I don’t want to kill myself just yet. Watching this type of movies can be draining… But somebody’s got to do it. So let’s take a look at these four flicks and nibble on those Zolofts, shall we?

“Depression-Inducing Flicks”

Monogamy

Release Date: March 13, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 96 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Dana Adam Shapiro & Evan M. Wiener
Stars: Rashida Jones, Chris Messina, Meital Dohan

I saw this movie because I have such a girl crush on Rashida Jones and because it was part of my “Relationship Breakdown” movie night (this and Blue Valentine will make you want to swear off romance forever), and even though this movie isn’t bad, I kinda regretted seeing it because it’s just so sad. I feel really sad for Rashida Jones’ character, who loves and trusts her fiance implicitly and has faith in their relationship, when all he does is become obsessed with a woman he doesn’t even know. What is it about human nature to be dissatisfied of the good thing we have in favor of something that may only appear exciting and unknown? This movie does make me think though, and makes me realize that part of our problem as a society is our lack of gratitude and appreciation of the good things we already have and tend to take for granted. But still, I wish it could’ve just gotten that message across without making Rashida Jones cry.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Melancholia

Release Date: November 11, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 136 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Lars Von Trier
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland

I watched this movie because it had gotten a lot of praise, not just from critics but from celebrities I follow on Twitter as well. Sure, the Cannes Film Festival premiere of this film was overshadowed by director Lars Von Trier’s idiotic comments about Hitler (yes, that’s the way to get you working in the film industry, Lars, insult the Jews. Nice going), but no matter what your feeling is about this “eccentric” Danish director, you can’t deny he has made some pretty interesting films so far. Dogville was an example that he might just be a genius. Melancholia, however… Okay. How do I put this. I can’t in all honesty say it’s a bad movie. Because it’s not. It’s visually stunning, it’s obvious that Von Trier is a true artist, and Kirsten Dunst’s performance is absolutely poignant here, especially considering she had been to rehab for depression. But I just can’t love this movie or rave about it because it is so nihilistic and non life-affirming that I just want to throw shit at Von Trier after I saw it. I get it, Lars, life is meaningless and then we die. But that’s why we turn to pop culture, to distract us from all that. Come on, at least spread a little joy!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Release Date: December 9, 2011 (NYC)
Approx. Running Time: 112 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Lynne Ramsay & Rory Kinnear
Stars: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

If your child grew up to be a teenage sociopath who decided to wake up one day and killed a bunch of his classmates in a high school massacre, should you blame yourself? What makes a psychopath, nature or nurture? Those are the questions that this jarring movie asks, as it follows Eva (Tilda Swinton), who’s trying to slowly put her life back together after her son Kevin commits a massacre that took the life of several of his schoolmates. The movie goes back and forth in time, chronicling Kevin’s life from when he was a baby up to the moment that he decided to do the unimaginable. Tilda Swinton’s performance was just so heartbreaking and, even though he only played a small role, Ezra Miller’s chilling turn as Kevin once again cemented him as the young star to watch. It is hard to watch this movie, because of its heavy subject matter but it’s worth the extra trip to your therapist just to see their amazing performances.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Angels Crest

Release Date: December 30, 2011
Approx. Running Time: 92 min
Director & Screenwriter(s): Gaby Dellal & Catherine Trieschmann
Stars: Thomas Dekker, Joseph Morgan, Jeremy Piven, Kate Walsh, Mira Sorvino, etc

They say that nothing is more painful for a parent than having to bury your own child. So the premise of this movie, in which the disappearance of a three year old ripped through a small community, is already depressing by default. Watching a young – very young I might add – father lose his son that he loved very much is hard enough, seeing his growing realization throughout the movie, that he may not have been the best father and that he has indirectly caused the death of his child, is even harder. It’s always sad when you see people with the best intentions fail not because they don’t love enough or care enough but because they don’t know enough. And that’s what this movie is all about. I would’ve loved it more if the ending was a little bit uplifting, but since it was even more heartbreaking… I say don’t watch it unless you’re in a very emotionally stable state.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

And that concludes Day Six of Binky International Film Festival! Sorry for backing out on my words earlier about posting this on Christmas Day, I didn’t count on my flu getting even worse, not better. But I shall get over this soon (I hope). In any case, I will try to post the next four days of this festival before New Year’s Eve. Come back tomorrow for Day 7 where we’ll be taking a look at my personal favorites of 2011 in the “Repeat Viewing” genre.

Till then!

Binky Bee

It’s Just A Little (Girl) Crush

There is a misconception out there in society that women are somehow always competing with other women. That we’re catty and jealous and we turn green when we’re near other women who are more superior, either in looks or intellect or both. I say this is a misconception because I find it to be a load of bullshit. Women are able to build sincere, genuine friendships with other women and instead of turning green with envy when we see someone who’s more beautiful or smarter or both, we actually genuinely admire them and aspire to be like them.

This kind of admiration and/or aspiration is what I like to call having a “girl-crush”. It’s not a sexual thing, it’s just that “oh my god she’s so cool, she’s amazing” feeling that we get whenever we see a certain woman that we admire, whether for her looks, her talents, her intellects, her sense of style, or all of the above. We don’t want to compete with these women and we don’t necessarily want to be exactly like them, we just want to be their best friend.

In my lifetime I have a lot of girl-crushes, some are my own friends, some are celebrities. But this time around I just want to focus on the latter and count down my Top 10 Girl Crushes of The Moment. Why? Because women are awesome and we need to celebrate us. I know International Women’s Day have come and gone but we need more than just one day to celebrate the amazing, wonderful creatures that we are, right? 🙂

So let’s not waste any moment and get straight to the countdown, shall we?

My Top 10 Girl Crushes of The Moment:

10/ Shannon Woodward

The rising star of Raising Hope may not be a household name just yet, but seeing how she can hold her own against the great Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman on a weekly basis, I have a feeling that it’s just a matter of time before she becomes a critics and award shows darling like her longtime boyfriend Andrew Garfield. This gorgeous brunette is absolutely delightful as Sabrina, the quick-witted supermarket clerk that soon stole not only lead character Jimmy’s heart but also yours truly. She’s gorgeous, she’s funny, she’s got an easy coolness about her and she’s dating the new Spiderman. She’s definitely worthy to be in the number ten spot.

9/ Leighton Meester

When Gossip Girl first debuted in the Fall of 2007, producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage clearly thought that Blake Lively’s Serena would be the one character that the show would revolve around. But they didn’t expect how easily and masterfully my number 9 girl-crush stole the show and made Blair Waldorf the character that everyone is obsessed with. Leighton Meester makes the snobby, neurotic and aristocratic Blair Waldorf accessible, funny and endearing and there is no doubt this girl will move on to even greater things after Gossip Girl, which is why she gets to sit pretty right here at number 9.

8/ Olivia Wilde

Just like Leighton Meester, Olivia Wilde got her start thanks to the hit show creating duo Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage when she landed a recurring role in season two of The OC as Seth’s (and a few episodes later, Marissa’s) love interest. Now, her career seems unstoppable, with her starring in the Fox’s hit medical drama House and headlining Jon Favreau’s much anticipated summer blockbuster Cowboys and Aliens. Even though her personal life took a hit recently, this talented beauty is still amazing enough to earn the number 8 spot in this list. Look at her! How can anyone not have a crush on her?

7/ Kristen Bell

The world may only be aware of the beauty and talents of this petite blond after she starred in the blockbuster comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but fans of cult-favorite (and canceled too soon) teen detective show Veronica Mars have known and loved Kristen Bell since she broke into the scene as the titular character that was worshiped by fans everywhere. Now Ms Bell is all grown up and moving to movies, while enjoying a quiet, tabloid-free life with her husband Dax Sheppard. A teen star who grows up to be a functioning adult? You bet yo’ ass she’s girl-crush material!

6/ Emma Stone

We first met her when she starred opposite Jonah Hill in Superbad and subsequently fell in love with her when she totally kicked ass in movies like Zombieland and Easy A. Emma Stone is the girl we all wish we had been when we were younger; beautiful, smart, confident and uber-talented. After nabbing a Golden Globe nomination this year, she’s now busy cozying up to Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman as she takes on the role of his new love interest, Gwen. Do we even need a reason to love this girl more?

5/ Carey Mulligan

She got an Oscar nomination from her breakout role as Jenny in An Education, and she continues to impress critics with her talents to this day. Her recent film Never Let Me Go may have flopped in the box office but critics agree that she gave a tour-de-force performance in the sci-fi drama. Aside from her obvious talent, she’s also quite the style icon, continuing to impress fashion lovers everywhere with her choice of red carpet style. Beautiful, talented and stylish? She’s definitely #5 girl-crush worthy.

4/ Mila Kunis

Another Oscar-nominee in our list, Mila Kunis first became a household name when she starred as the loud and superficial Jackie Burkhart in the hit comedy That 70s Show at the tender age of fifteen. Unlike most of the other cast members whose careers have somewhat stalled after the show was canceled, Kunis went on to bigger and brighter things, from starring opposite our #7 girl-crush in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, to finally landing the role that gave her an Oscar nod in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. Macaulay Culkin may have fallen out of love with her but my girl-crush on this gorgeous brunette is definitely still going strong!

3/ Dianna Agron

This beautiful Gleek first grabbed our attention as the girl we all loved to hate, the bitchy blond head cheerleader whose sole mission in life is to torture those less superior from her. But Agron’s true inner beauty was too bright to conceal, and her Glee character Quinn soon followed suit and became more and more lovable. Now that’s a powerful testament to how amazing this girl is. She’s not only gorgeous and has a sweet voice, she’s also a sensitive artist who loves photography, and her Tumblr blog shows how multi-layered and intelligent she really is. Is it any wonder that she’s in my #3 spot?

2/ Rashida Jones

Our #2 girl seems destined to be in showbiz, after all she’s the daughter of legendary producer Quincy Jones and model Poppy Lipton, and she’s drop dead gorgeous. But unlike most kids with famous parents, she opted to pursue a Harvard education instead of pretending to be famous in Hollywood right after high school. She only became a household name when she joined the cast of The Office in season three as Karen Fillipelli, and after her stint at The Office was over, moved over to the charming and underrated Parks and Recreation, where she plays sensible nurse Ann Perkins. A drop dead gorgeous Harvard graduate with a good head on her shoulders, the lovely miss Jones truly deserves to be the runner up in this countdown.

1/ Zooey Deschanel

For those of you who have been following this blog from the very beginning, the number one girl in this list should come as no surprise. I have mentioned my love of this quirky indie actress/musician many times and let’s just say my girl-crush on her is not something I’ll get over any time soon. How can I? She’s adorable, super stylish, fabulously down-to-earth, funny and sweetly approachable. She’s everything I want to (but could never) be. And the fact that she’s married to the frontman of my favorite band (Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie) just makes me love her more. And that is why, my friends, she’s my number one girl-crush of (probably) all time.

So there you have it, ten amazing women I absolutely admire. Who’s your girl-crush?

Xoxo

Binky Bee