What does one think about when one wants not to think about their problems? For me, it's popular movies. Last night I rented a sad movie. That movie was Running with Scissors, a movie based the memoirs of Augusten Burroughs. I had been told it was a terrible movie but I did not read the memoirs of Augusten Burroughs so who am I to say whether it was a faithful rendition or not? What I can say is that it made me NOT think about my problems and that was good. And that I think Annette Benning is one of the most fabulous and underrated actresses, particularaly for her ability to play crazy. I did however find Joseph Feinnes as schizophrenic homosexual redneck slightly underwhelming. The scene stealer was a woman I recognized but could not tell you why. She played Agnes. She ate kibble. She reminded me of Allison Janney in American Beauty. Understated performance of "Wife" to" Crazy/Domineering/Powerful Patriarch". Actually, in a lot of ways this movie reminded me of a really, really inferior American Beauty.
Come to think of it, I did not like this movie at all.
I did however like Half-Nelson. I like that it made me sympathize with a base-head, narcissistic teacher with nearly no redeeming qualities aside from an unusual, yet effective, manner of teaching history in a way that seems much more meaningful than any history class I ever took. I like that Ryan Gosling, though he is not always in great movies, seems to choose roles that will challenge him in different ways and takes these roles on completely so that he seems very different from one movie to the next. Most actors don't do this. Most actors seem the same from one movie to the next, with different names, in different situations. There is one scene where Ryan Gosling's ex-girlfriend, who is an ex-base head, and he seems nervous and uncomfortable and spends most of their conversation creeping into a doorway and talking to her with his head poking out. She talked to half of a head. It was endearing. And sad. But this movie also made me uncomfortable. This movie made me want to punch this guy in the face. The little girl in this movie was also good. She was good in a quiet way. She acted with her eyes a lot, and an even voice. She didn't ever seem to move much, even though she was often on a bicycle or basketball court, and I liked that too.