Last night, Amanda and I went to a screening of Jeff, Who Lives At Home. The film, from the Duplass brothers, played at the Film Festival last year and stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon. I went in expecting lots of laugh and not too much thinking.
The film delivered in humor, cringe-worthy moments and just complete absurdity. But that’s not what kept me engaged, the script was superb. The way everything tied at the end with a nice little bow you just didn’t see coming and it all was because Jeff (Segel) watched Signs one day and decides when someone calls him as a wrong number, it’s a sign he’s supposed to do something great with his life.
For me, I completely believe in signs, though I’m sure it’s just my imagination making something more in order to make me feel better about my decisions. But I couldn’t help but take it as a sign that I need to finish editing my book and send off when upon exiting the theatre, we walked right by my writing idol, Roger Ebert.
The film opens on Friday, March 16.
During the years of my film obsession, I’ve developed deeper and more appreciation for things besides the actors’ performances. I’ll admit, I used acting performances to determine if I liked a film. That isn’t the case these days anymore. I find I’m more drawn to cinematography shots, a script with underlying humor and a musical score.
Today, I feel most everyone is plugged into some type of music. These notes and tunes and melodies serve as a way to soundtrack our workouts, ride to work, road trip with friends and sing us to sleep on the airplane. And our musical scores change with every season, every mood and every album release. It’s why so many of us just lost it during the musical score of UP. Music is more than just sound.
But this obsession and need for music is the sole reason everyone should rush out to see The Artist. This film, a silent film, shows how music moves us and carries us through emotions and storylines. The story follows a successful silent film actor, George Valentin and his struggle with conforming to the new demand of studios moving to “The Talkies.”
I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a silent film in its entirety; so I was anticipating art cards flashing up on the screen every 4 seconds to tell me what was going on. Not the case. It’s amazing what we can still pick up on through facial expressions as we use music for context clues.
The acting performances of this film are nothing but outstanding. They would have to be, seeing as the actors’ faces and body language are what carries viewers from scene to scene. And another perk of the film I wasn’t anticipating: hearing the audience’s reactions. Sitting in a room with strangers whom you could hear laughing, gasping and hoping aloud is something few films give us the chance to experience.