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#nell consumes media fall 2019
I was on a bit of a watching jag before the end of the year. Here are some thoughts I had.

*watched before 1917 (the film) was released to theatres

Journey’s End (2017) This was not a film I was looking for; it proved the rare film that pops up under algorithm suggestions that…I actually DID want to see. (Historic!)

I knew going in (or could tell pretty shortly) that this was a play adaptation. Interestingly, the play was written in 1928, within 10 years of WWI ending. Perhaps that’s what it is about this outstanding piece that makes it feel so timely, so “How to Tell a True War Story”. 

There’s futility here, and grit and the terrifying underbelly of the trenches, there really is. And just, a wonderful lack of the jingoism and ultra-cleaned-up (and CGI) nonsense that all but takes over contemporary war films written about historical conflicts. (Even Dunkirk had to contend with some of this.) Journey’s End is a particularly British film (it eschews the American war film trope which tends to have companies made up of soldiers from a broad swath of socio-geographical and economic backgrounds [to wit: the token guy from Brooklyn is missing]), which is perfect, since we know WWI Europe’s trenches manned by Tommys were filled with young officers who had “been at school together”.

And that’s what we have here. I won’t go in to plot, other than to say the film takes place 98% in the stagnant trenches, and largely underneath them, in the officers’ quarters. I feel like I know just how the play likely worked, with those steps going up into the trench from the quarters doing so much emotional work.

There are some familiar faces, here. And the work done by actors all around is outstanding. Interpret it how you like, but there is also a powerful narrative of men’s relationships in society absent of women, and it’s amazing, and I loved it.

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Paul Bettany at some point in the last decade has stealthily made me love him, and probably never more than here. I would put myself through the anguish of this film again just for him. He is Uncle, the oldest officer (and possibly footsoldier?) whose intuitive understanding of those around him is literally keeping people both sane and alive. It might look like an easy role, and some might try and connect it to Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, but the subtlety and humanity Bettany portrays here is unmatched, in a narrative far more claustrophobic and higher stakes (think fish being shot in a barrel) than that big budget multiplex feature.

But as good as Bettany is in his supporting role, it is Sam Clafin’s show and he is, in a word, a revelation.

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I confess, I’ve been checking in on Clafin for years—since I first saw him in 2011’s United film about UK footballers and a deadly plane crash. Yet, in his big screen films he never seemed allowed to fulfill his promise. I’ve never been more sad over a performance than what he was given and expected to do in Hunger Games (the character of Finnick O’dair was wasted in the adaptations). Me Before You, Love, Rosie—forgettable ‘lite’ turns (I’m not faulting him, but the source material and scripts—these might be enjoyable films, but they’re not striving to be more than entertaining). Not so, here.

Clafin gives an Oscar-worthy performance. No, an Oscar-DEMANDING performance. It largely defies anything I could think to write about it. It’s heart-rending, and maddening, and literally perfect. His is a towering achievement, here. You do yourself a disservice in not watching it.

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The film itself adheres to a play’s structure in many way, and ultimately is more of an emotional excerpt than a close-ended plot. Which is not a complaint, but it is something that should be pointed out. For example, in an effort to close the plot, we get a strangely tacked-on scene at the end that breaks entirely with the battlefield setting (and all prior POVs). It is arguably the one false note in a film wrenchingly, nauseatingly truthful.

From Rolling Stone: “The dialogue, formal and courteous via a screenplay by writer/producer Simon Reade, is free of profanity, lacking the grenades of f-bombs so typical of the genre. [that so much modern cinema has the luxury of hiding behind in the place of true emoting - nell] The usual male bravado is replaced by a crushing vulnerability shared by tender comrades – these men have been in the war for years and hold few hopes in its final months of emerging alive. The vise-like tension grows out of the waiting, punctuated by bursts of action that achieve an explosive impact enhanced by their brevity…But the film belongs to Claflin. Best known as prettyboy decoration in such hits as The Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Me Before You, the actor is a revelation here, catching every nuance as disillusion eats away at Stanhope’s once profound humanity.”

nettlestonenell
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Just finished watching Legion starring Paul Bettany. Not bad….but with some questionable parts. Mostly with Charlie and her bodily autonomy, wanting her to have the baby even though she didn’t want to, and even talking down to her a bit over wanting to give it up for adoption.

Things I liked the wings were cool, but I am a sucker for wings. Also that Jeep’s love for Charlie and his caring for her was not reliant on her returning the sentiment. He makes an offer to have the pair be together, but he never seems to want other than for her to be safe and happy.

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My Dream Movie-Cast 5

HenryCavill-EmmaWatson-HelenaBonhamCarter-JoshBrolin-JeremyIrons-VeraFarmiga-PaulBettany-MartinFreeman

So Perfect!!♥

emstenleinanesilz
emstenleinanesilz
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I wanna talk about Wanda Maximoff x Long Sleeves for a minute. This whole thing breaks my heart because it’s really sad because the MCU doesn’t do anything on accident it’s all thought out even wardrobe so it just makes it even sadder for me.

We shall start with my first point,

Wanda Maximoff didn’t always wear long sleeves!

Even in Sokovia, she has a shawl, not a long sleeved jacket or anything.

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Even her first Scarlet Witch outfit was no longer than three quarter length sleeves.

Then she looses her brother, and we all know how that goes 🥺

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So she goes back with The Avengers and everyone is pretty much in agreement that she loses it for several weeks if not months over the loss of her brother, locked in her room crying and blaming herself for it. Of course we never see any of that, she has pulled herself together for the next movie.

We open on Lagos, where the team is very suddenly thrust into a situation that is more involved than anticipated and Wanda wasn’t ready. They trained for it, as Steve mentioned, but she puts off vibes that she wasn’t expecting to do this today and is caught off guard. She pulls it together and manages to do what she needs to, until… oops.

That wasn’t her fault, but oops all the same.

So back at the compound we get our first round of Long Sleeve Wanda, tormenting herself for the mistake.

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Steve manages to cheer her up a bit just in time to go get yelled at, and then she gets put on secret house arrest by Tony, and Vision keeps her company. She is upset at first when she finds out but I feel like she calmed down by the time we see Clint come to break her out.

Speaking of that, we are graced with this little display where we get our first glance at what I already suspected when I saw the shirt with the thumb slot in the earlier scene, and my second point.

Wanda Maximoff has severe anxiety.

And of course she does!

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As someone who has CRIPPLING ANXIETY, when I am fending off an attack there is nothing quite like disappearing into my hoodie/jacket/cardigan. I actually started wearing cardigans because of her, and that is my clothing item of choice now. I always try to pick an outfit that a long cardigan could go with, there’s so much fabric you can pull around yourself.

Kudos to Lizzie for bringing it to the big screen, I could feel the anxiety coming off the screen. My heart goes out to Wanda ❤

I feel like it may have slipped by people and been disregarded because she seems to bounce back from these anxious moments so quickly, for example promptly after this we are shown a scene where she tells Cap that she felt like it was time to get off her ass, directly quoting what Clint said to her in this scene. It’s not how she really feels but it’s something that he would like to hear. I do this all day working retail, if you seem like you are okay no one will ask you about it, and you can move on. But if people start to ask about it then you break down and that’s not a good look for an Avenger (hence Tony in Iron Man 2)

This brings me to my third and final point.

Vision doesn’t make it better, and he doesn’t have to!

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Her relationship with Vision doesn’t magically make her anxiety go away, AND IT SHOULDN’T!!!

Even in Edinburgh she’s got shirts that cover her hands and shoves her hands in her pockets from nerves, and that’s OKAY!!!

It isn’t his job to make her anxiety go away, its to help her to understand how beautiful she is even with her flaws!!!

He is OBSESSED with her hands and I LOVE THAT!!! Her powers come from her hands and she has insecurities about that but he focuses positive actions on them!!!

They give each other a safe space to GROW and LEARN what it means to be different and SUPPORT EACH OTHER!!!

Scarlet Vision is an example of a healthy supportive relationship ❤🥺👍

Also they are pure fluff and sweetness but still ❤

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

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