Cinemarch Madness: Campion Division Poll
It's funny, the clusters you get on a randomized list — and I don't mean Hereafter and The Sweet Hereafter both in the same flight. Here, it's films that, on a different day, might have hit me the way they hit some of you, and vice versa. If I'd seen The Illusionist on a sunny day, in a good mood, I might have found it merely sad and sweet. That didn't happen, and the two-punch of the soundtrack simply destroyed me.
So what can I definitively rule out? Hereafter is one; Eastwood's tendency is increasingly to go with very obvious visuals that take me out of things tonally, and he did that here. Just never quite caught fire.
Schindler's List is another. The subject is dark, of course; the scene where the shower is actually a shower is amazing and memorable and tough; I just really don't think it's bleak, though. Spielberg is capable of bleak, but this is, like, one of three stories to come out of that entire period in Europe that gives you any hope at all. It has difficult moments and I think it'll sweep through the division in first place, but it didn't put me on the ground.
But the rest of the list? Like I said, it might not have laid me out, but I can see how it could have on another day. Children of Men, My Life Without Me, Milo & Otis…totally get it. Closer almost gave me a hangover, emotionally, so it's a tempting vote, but I'm going with Illusionist, plus — and here's that clustering again — the Andrew Garfield entries. Boy A is thoroughly discouraging on the idea of redemption, of/for anything — juvenile offenders, society, the heart's capacity to heal — and Red Riding 1974 is not just discouraging but confusing, murky, scary, and determined to argue the audience out of believing in justice. Or sunshine. Or filtered cigarettes. Or that Sean Bean's laudably disgusting performance is not contagious. You know how Elvis basically had a heart attack on the shitter and pitched face-first into his shag carpeting? That's what I did after RR74 ended, except with more sisal and less poo. See it, with a friend or licensed psychiatrist. (The movie, not me face-planting.)
It doesn't move on, though. Schindler's, Children, and probably Sweet Hereafter. (Another weird thing; directors win other divisions, but not usually their own.)
Campion Divison: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.
- Children of Men (53%, 106 Votes)
- Schindler's List (37%, 75 Votes)
- The Sweet Hereafter (29%, 59 Votes)
- Red Riding 1974 (20%, 40 Votes)
- Closer (17%, 35 Votes)
- Awakenings (17%, 35 Votes)
- The Illusionist (16%, 32 Votes)
- Boy A (11%, 23 Votes)
- My Life without Me (11%, 23 Votes)
- Milo and Otis (10%, 20 Votes)
- The Painted Veil (7%, 14 Votes)
- When the Wind Blows (6%, 12 Votes)
- An Angel at My Table (5%, 11 Votes)
- The Safety of Objects (4%, 8 Votes)
- Hereafter (1%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 201
Tags: Andrew Garfield Boy A Children of Men Cinemarch Madness Clint Eastwood Closer Hereafter Jane Campion movies My Life Without Me Red Riding: In The Year Of Our Lord 1974 Schindler's List Sean Bean Steven Spielberg The Illusionist The Sweet Hereafter