Standard Deviation

I finished Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny today. It follows the main character, Graham, a middle aged man in New York, and the relationships he has with his outgoing wife, his Asperger’s son, and his ex-wife. I had a hard time getting completely behind this character. He never could make up his mind on what he wanted, which was frustrating. There was very little plot and I struggled a little to finish.

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Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

I read this short book over Christmas break and thought it had some great ideas. I had read the author’s Americanah with a book club so decided to check this out.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is asked by a friend how to raise her new daughter as a feminist. What results is a touching letter outlining fifteen suggestions. As a mother to a daughter, I found some good advice and would highly recommend.

Molly’s Game

I saw Molly’s Game earlier this week with my parents. It was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, whose dialogue I love, so I was excited to see it.

Jessica Chastain plays Molly, a former competitive skier who gets involved with running poker games in Hollywood. She eventually gets in over her head and starts taking a cut, which is illegal. Her assets are seized and later she is arrested for presumed mob involvement.

The movie is told through various flashbacks and the voiceovers are snappy and interesting. The editing could have used some work because the run time was a little too long. Some of the scenes with Kevin Costner as her father were a little too sappy as well. Overall, however, the movie was entertaining and Chastain gave a great performance.

Never Been Kissed

My daughter has been into watching romantic comedies recently (she’s 8 and has her first crush at school). We sat down to watch Never Been Kissed, which I remember liking.

Drew Barrymore is Josie, a copy editor at a newspaper who want to move up to reporter. She gets her first story going undercover as a high school student, but struggles because she had a horrible experience as a teenager in high school. She enlists the help of her popular brother and also ends up falling for her English teacher. The movie is super cute but there are a ton of conversations about sex, so be ready for those if watching with kids.

Downsizing

MoviePass has really let me see a ton of movies, including ones I ordinarily would not have gone to in the theatre. Today I saw Downsizing. I had seen the trailer probably six times and part of me wishes I knew less about the movie going in.

Matt Damon is Paul who decides to undergo a medical procedure where he is shrunken down. Then science behind it is to save the environment, but a primary motivation is because you can basically be a millionaire on very little money. At the last second, Paul’s wife decides not to do the procedure and so Paul is left alone in this new environment.

The premise of the movie is pretty cool and imagining the what ifs and scenarios is fascinating. The story gets pretty bogged down and doesn’t completely resolve itself. I kind of get what the filmmaker was trying to say about humanity, but it didn’t completely land for me.

Pitch Perfect 3

I really liked the first Pitch Perfect movies, so I was excited for this third one. Yes, I know they aren’t high cinema, but they are entertaining and have fun songs.

This one sees the Bellas reuniting for a USO tour. Of course there is a competition involved and many hijinks ensue. The movie flew by and Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow are engaging and fun to watch. This was a great time, especially for those who liked the first two.

The Lobster

I had been wanting to watch The Lobster for awhile, but couldn’t get my husband to see it with me, so I turned it on this afternoon by myself.  Colin Farrell stars as a man whose partner has left him and in the rules of this world, he must go to a hotel for singles and attempt to find another mate.  If he fails, he is turned into an animal of his choice (The Lobster, get it?).

After a failed match-up, he manages to escape and begins living with a group of outsiders in the forest, where he falls in love with a woman played by Rachel Weiss.  The outsiders have many rules against romance, so their relationship seems doomed from the outset.

The ending of the movie is probably the most thought-provoking.  The leader of the outsiders had Rachel Weiss blinded so she would no longer have a main characteristic in common with Colin Farrell (they were both short-sighted).  The ending shows Colin Farrell contemplating whether to blind himself or not.  The last shot of the film depicts Rachel Weiss sitting along in a cafe waiting for him.  Does he do it?  Does he leave? Does he not do it and say he does?