“It says right there. ‘Great potential. Gain some experience, and please apply again.'”

I think The Help (Tate Taylor), is a fantastic movie for all the reasons everyone else has already said. It is a touching portrayal of the lives of maids in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, and the writer who wants to tell their story. The movie makes it very easy to become emotionally involved with its characters, especially the two maids, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), as well as Eugenia Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), the Ole Miss graduate who approaches them for her book idea and Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain), the captivating social outcast whose experiences are a testament to how horrible women can be to each other.

Since it has been out for almost a month and has received considerable word-of-mouth promotion, I believe it’s safe to assume that the majority of people who are interested in seeing it have done so, and those who have not, know the premise of the film. I’m therefore not going to be redundant and go into plot details and so on, although I could talk about so many different aspects of the movie. Instead, I want to focus on the aforementioned character relatability and why I personally feel like I can identify with Skeeter, because this is what made the movie all the more effective for me. Now don’t get me wrong. I know that she is only one small component of The Help, but like I already said, I’m not going to discuss all the elements that I could talk about here. I’d merely like to focus on my perspective of a single character, in no way giving her importance over the others.

Someone recently told me that people just need to find what they want to do and go out and do it; make it happen, if you will. Figuring out what you want to do is the first step, and you’d be surprised how many people have not even done that. I started thinking about this and came to the realization that this is entirely common sense. How are you supposed to do anything if you don’t even know what it is that you want to do? As for me, my issue lately has not been not knowing what I want to do. That I know quite well. (I’d like to write about, or work in film/entertainment in some capacity, in case you’re wondering. I’m not very picky at this juncture.) It’s more the “going out and making it happen” part that’s given me some mild issues.

This is why I give major kudos to Skeeter in The Help. She goes back home after graduating and what does she do first thing? Gets a job. Now albeit, writing a cleaning column is not the ideal job even if you do want to be a writer. But I love this scene more for how she goes about getting the position, as opposed to the position itself. Way to turn a rejection letter into something positive. I’m not sure many people would even try to do that. Let’s be honest. I know it wouldn’t have crossed my mind. So there is that. Then there’s the fact that Skeeter stands up for herself and what she wants to do, despite lack of understanding from everyone else, including her mother, her “friends” and Stuart Whitworth (Chris Lowell), who was never worth her time anyways.

Most importantly though, she perseveres. She knows what she wants to do, and she does it. This is easier said than done, which makes her achievement all the more impressive. To me, as a fellow job searcher and aspiring writer, anyways. I have received several of the “great potential, but we regret to inform you” e-mails over the past few months, and I’ll admit, multiple times during this time period I have pondered if there was a point of sending out another resume or contacting a potential employer. Characters like that of Stone’s, however, remind me that the effort is worthwhile.

It’s not even just that Skeeter gets a job working at a newspaper. It’s that she wants to be a serious writer, finds a topic that she cares about and turns it into a book. She does so despite initial (and completely understandable) resistance from the maids she wants to interview, impending deadlines from the publishing company, not to mention pressure from her mother to find a man and settle down. Because finding a man worked out so well for her.

It’s actually been a week since I went and watched The Help, but I’m only now writing about it because what I wanted to say about it didn’t hit me until the conversation I mentioned previously. It wasn’t until I thought about it this past Monday that I made a connection between it and this movie. Mind you, not that it was a great epiphany or anything, it’s just that what has always been common sense kind of became clearer. Because, really, what’s holding anyone back from doing what they want to do? How hard can it be to figure out what makes us happy? Sure, it’s not easy to make that happen even once we realize it, especially if it involves looking for a job nowadays.

But the point is persistance, and eventually something will work out. I feel like I have to believe that. As Aibileen told Eugenia, “Go find your life.” Really, we shouldn’t wait for people to tell us that. We should be doing so already. But when they do say something, we should take it as a wake-up call and go for it. Because once we do, it will be worth it no matter what the result.

“Your personality gets in the way of your looks—your very good looks.”

In a strange inverse parallel that might only make sense to me, the title quote I chose kind of describes my opinion of Our Idiot Brother. It is Ned’s (Paul Rudd) personality that makes the movie, but the overall film gets in the way of his personality if you will. As in the movie is fairly underwhelming, but Ned’s personality is pretty great. He believes the best about people, but not in an overly annoying kind of way.

Now by saying that this film was underwhelming I don’t necessarily mean that it was bad, because it wasn’t. It was a perfectly fine comedy about a family with very different members: Ned, the eternal optimist, determined to believe the best about everyone no matter what; Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), the spunky independent sister, who as a side note, I would argue has the best style in the movie; Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), the journalist with not just questionable professional ethics, but questionable overall common decency; and Liz (Emily Mortimer), the oblivious wife of an unquestionable jerk (Steve Coogan) who runs an unnecessarily uptight household…uptight minus his penchant for foreign ballet dancers that is. Funny how things like that work.

So there you briefly have it. Ned comes to live with each of his sisters in turn after getting released from prison for selling marijuana to a uniformed police officer. Does that sound like one of the more ridiculous decisions one could make? Well, yes. However, watching the scene makes Ned’s choice a lot more understandable than you would think by just hearing about it. He’s not a complete idiot, just very very good natured. And the cop puts on a good show. You could believably fall for his bad day story if you had a lot of compassion, like Ned, and wanted to think the best of everyone. All I’m saying is that the predictable question of “how could anyone be so stupid” isn’t so cut and dry, despite what Ned’s sisters might initially think.

They have drama of their own, but it’s fairly predictable drama revolving around work and relationships. It’s necessary for them to have these problems because if they didn’t there wouldn’t be anything for Ned to meddle in, and then we wouldn’t have a movie. He always has the best intentions, but more often than not, with less-than-stellar results. To say the least. Comments that some people might “accidentally” make to another person to get a reaction, Ned actually just says without giving it a second thought. Not being honest is a foreign concept to him. I wonder how frustrating it would become to live with someone so easygoing.

Here’s the thing about Our Idiot Brother. Before I saw it, I heard it referred to (by someone else who hadn’t seen it yet) as a “dumb comedy.” From the previews I had seen, I would have guessed this to be a fairly accurate expectation for the film. Truth be told, it is not so much of a dumb comedy as I would have thought. Comedy to be sure, but not comedy in a Knocked Up or Superbad sense of the word. It’s slightly more charming, I guess would be the best description.

This is not why I consider the movie to just be average (maybe a little above). I think Peter Travers was just a tad too critical, but that Roger Ebert was a little too generous in his critique. I fall right in the middle of the two. I think this way because I wasn’t bored during the film, but it also didn’t hold my attention the way a really good movie would. That is to say, if I don’t get irritated at someone for talking to me during a film, or if I allow myself to get distracted, odds are, it’s not that fascinating.

What I was most irritated about, and this is what really cemented my opinion, was the conclusion of the movie. If it would have ended three minutes before it did, then I would have probably been okay with it, but not so much this way. I’m all for a happy ending, but not if it ends up beyond an unrealistic cliché.

True love on a schedule?

TiMER (2009) is not one of those movies I would have necessarily actively searched out and watched. However, while flipping through Netflix, it caught my attention because I vaguely remembered someone telling me about it a while ago. I was slightly intrigued by the premise of the indie flick (written and directed by Jac Schaeffer). I thought it could possibly end up typically predictable, but I didn’t have particularly high or low expectations for it. I hate to say that I chose TiMER because nothing else looked terribly interesting, but there you have it. Now with that being said, my feelings towards it after the ending sort of mirror my feelings prior to viewing it. Parts of it were typically predictable, and I do still think the plot has some intriguing concepts. To give a general opinion, I think it was a cute romantic comedy with some very frustrating aspects. It’s a film I’m glad I chose. I enjoyed watching it once, I would probably watch it again if I caught it playing on TV, but woudn’t buy on DVD or anything.

So the general plot of this movie has to do with, you guessed it, timers. But what kind of timers exactly? People now have the option of implanting a timer in their arm once they reach the age of 14. This timer begins a countdown once their soul mate gets one as well and zeroes out the midnight before the chance meeting between two soul mates is supposed to occur. The moment a person meets his or her one and only, the two timers go off simultaneously as a signal to the two people. The basic premise is that this device is supposed to take the guesswork out of love and prevent people from wasting their time and making bad relationship decisions. I’ll get into my personal issues with this in just a moment.

First, to provide a little more plot detail, a movie such as this has to have a protagonist who has issues with aforementioned situation. So enter Oona O’Leary (Emma Caulfield). Her timer is persistently blank. Naturally, she is preoccupied with this troubling scenario, until…she meets someone. Now where is the conflict here, you may ask? Mikey Evers (John Patrick Amedori), a significantly younger grocery store worker, has a timer that has already begun a countdown. Aka not syncing with Oona’s. Kind of a moot point then, right? Unless you’re a player in a sci-fi/romcom, in which case you go against your better judgment and begin a semi-relationship anyways. Enter into the equation the fun and outgoing Steph Depaul (Michelle Borth), Oona’s half sister who is doing anything but looking for love (which of course means that she has to unintentionally get embroiled in some form of romantic drama of her own).

So there you have it. TiMER ponders the questions of whether it’s a good idea to “take the guesswork out of love,” whether we have any choice in who we end up with, whether we would change anything if we knew and how knowing or not knowing who our soul mate is can affect our lives. Oh where should I even begin. I admit, I can see where the curiosity would be so great that this would become almost like a social norm.  I even understand the basic idea that you may not make some of the mistakes that you otherwise do. However (and this is a pretty substantial however), then it seems very easy to find yourself in the same predicament as Oona, who is obsessing a tad bit about her blank timer. What if your supposed soul mate never gets one? Then do you just live your life not knowing and staying forever single? Kind of defeats the purpose. Furthermore, say your timer tells you that you will meet your true love in 2, 574 days, or something of that nature. Then for over seven years you won’t date at all? No matter who you meet? You’ll just spend your life (like Oona) waiting? Seems kind of absurd to me. Absurd and well…boring. I guess you could take Steph’s route who ignores her timer. But then if you do that, what’s the point of even having one? I feel like it’s just added stress, and who needs that? I have a tendency to create stress and anxiety on my own. I don’t need a device to do more of the same.

So there’s that. Then comes the other issue that the movie briefly (and not very satisfactorily) explores, which I find to be problematic. If two people are dating, despite the fact that 1. their timers aren’t syncing up, or 2. one of them doesn’t even have a timer, so they either know they’re not technically each others’ soul mates, or don’t know if they are or not, and then one of them meets their supposed real soul mate, or gets a timer and they sync with someone else, what then? I would assume that there are still genuine feelings invested. Do those just suddenly get ignored? Or can people, in a sense, defy their future soul mate and choose someone else? I feel like something like this can end in total unnecessary disaster. Sure, there’s no way not to make mistakes in relationships. But if someone is not right for you, isn’t it better to figure it out on your own instead of just being told? If you’re emotionally invested are you even going to listen to reason? I tend to be pretty unresponsive in such situations, but who knows. Everyone’s different, but it appears that there are just as many ways to get hurt with a timer than without one. As Oona wonders, is the timer real, or is it just a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Overall, I thought TiMER was a cute, interesting mix between romantic comedy and sci-fi drama. It had some stereotypical romcom characters, like Steph (think Kit in Failure to Launch and so on), but others, like Oona’s little brother Jesse, are beyond adorable. What would you do if you suddenly found out, while still in middle school, that you were supposed to meet the person you would spend the rest of your life with in three days? As for the narrative, the film didn’t end exactly the way I thought it would. Good or bad? I’m not sure if I’m necessarily the biggest fan of the conclusion, but I did enjoy the road the movie took getting there.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

I know I’m just one among millions who has grown up with Harry Potter and has spent the past few weeks reminiscing about the series in anticipation of the final movie’s release July 15, so I’ll just be one more person who has recently shared their experience with J.K. Rowling’s books and the films they inspired. I began reading about Harry, Hermione and Ron back in middle school. My younger sister actually acquired the books first, and I don’t remember how, but they piqued my interest. Needless to say, (probably much to her consternation and amusement), I started trying to inconspicuously steal the books from my sister and read them myself. I was hooked after the first, immersed in a world that made the unbelievable believable. It was just the beginning of many pre-orders, Books-A-Million waits and midnight showings to come.  I feel similarly to everyone else who says that this last film is a sort of symbolization of the end of their childhood. How true. The first book was published over a decade ago, and while there was a certain amount of nostalgia after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it was slightly assauged by the knowledge that there were still two films to follow.

The night of July 14, however, my sister and I were both acutely aware that the release of HPDHP2 signified the last of the midnight showings we would go to. But if the series had to end, then at least this is the way that it did. Director David Yates outdid himself in the second installment of the Deathly Hallows. The film embodied both the emotion and the action of the book, doing a wonderful job in its depictions of all the relationships. Although I usually always read reviews before I go see movies, I made it a point not to read any that were already written before I went to the midnight screening because I knew they wouldn’t matter anyway. That’s me speaking purely as an avid fan. Even if this last film wouldn’t have been created as exceptionally as it was, it would have still been a touching experience to watch. I did read the critics’ views afterwards, and I was glad to see that both Roger Ebert and Peter Travers gave it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. It deserved them.

The visuals were dramatic and beautiful, and we had decided to see it in 2D, not 3D because I didn’t think it would add all that much. This turned out to be a good decision, as I heard later that the 3D version had dimmer color. But anyways, not that I by any means disliked part 1 of the Deathly Hallows, but I far preferred this one. I think a main reason for this is that part 2 brings back so many characters who are absent in the first. People like Professor McGonagall, Neville Longbottom and Dumbledore all reappear for the conclusion, and everything comes together. All the loose ends are tied up the way they should be. I mentioned earlier the balance between the action and emotion. The dialogue among the characters also finds ways to add humor to an otherwise grave situation, and romance is interspersed with violence, especially during the final battle sequences at Hogwarts, and I very much appreciated this. The moments that needed to be serious though, were so. Case in point, Snape (who has always been my all time favorite character in the series). His death and Harry’s subsequent journey into his memories were the most heartbreaking part of the book for me, and I had hoped that the movie would do it justice. It did. The scene was infused with genuine feeling that was felt by what seemed like the entire audience.

The film stayed mostly in line with Rowling’s novel, including significant quotes that I think everyone wanted to hear. It did have a few minor differences, but only one of them truly bothered me, and I can still live with it. If you haven’t seen the film yet and don’t want to know details, it might be advisable to skip just this one paragraph. Consider yourself warned. So in the book, the final battle between Harry and Voldemort takes place in the great hall, in front of all the professors, students and the rest of the Order. In this scene, Harry tells Voldemort who Snape’s true allegiance belonged to and he also details Snape’s love of Lily, revealing the truth to everyone. In the movie, however, this battle occurs in the courtyard, and there is no one around. Harry mentiones Snape in connection to the Elder Wand, but doesn’t bring up Snape’s love of his mother, or his allegiance to Dumbledore. I wish this would have played out the way it did in the book instead. I guess it can be implied that everyone still finds out the truth about Snape, which is why it’s not a colossal issue, but I would have still liked to see it actually happen. Something that I did like that the movie did though, was show Ron and Hermione go to the Chamber of Secrets to get rid of the horcrux. I think that added to the chaotic action, with the two of them working on destroying one horcrux while Harry ran off trying to locate another, all in the midst of Voldemort’s attack on the castle.

Okay, now that I briefly mentioned that, I’m finished with any spoilers. I can’t substantially express how much I loved this series and its concluding movie. It’s too easy for me to become long-winded about it, but it’s simply because it’s been a major aspect of my literary and cinematic life for such a long time. How can you run out of things to say when the story makes you feel like you’re a part of it? And not only a part of the story, but also a part of a fan base that spans continents? The atmosphere within the theater added to the film’s dramatic effect, with spontaneous applause at the right times. There’s just something about knowing that everyone is in one place at one time for the exact same reason. Dumbledore asked Snape about the duration of his love for Lily in his office. “Even after all this time?” he asked. And Snape replied, “Always.” This is one of my favorite quotes from the book. As Snape always remembered Lily, I, for one, will always remember the series that began in 1997, sparked a cultural phenomenon and to this day provides an escape from the mundane.

“Mischief managed.”

“No subject is terrible if the story is true and if the prose is clean and honest.”

Despite the fact that I have been talking about Woody Allen’s new movie Midnight in Paris ever since the lineup at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was released, I didn’t get around to actually watching it until Fourth of July weekend. Matt and I made two (albeit weak) prior attempts to go, but didn’t quite follow through until we resolved to actually make it to the theater on our third time. It wasn’t completely our fault, as the film had a pathetic one-week run here in Auburn, so as often is the case with worthwhile movies, we had to go elsewhere to see it.

Midnight in Paris is a charming story about the endearing Gil (Owen Wilson) and his not-so-endearing fiancee, Inez (Rachel McAdams), who travel to Paris on vacation. The film opens with gorgeous shots of the city day and night. But the movie is not really about Gil and Inez as a couple. It’s mostly about Gil and his desire to be a novelist. Inez’s main role is to criticize and unnecessarily find fault. I instinctively disliked her from the beginning, even before her tendencies towards a tedious predictability fully surfaced. Not to mention her lack of understanding of Gil.  His enthusiasm for writing and walking through Paris in the rain is addictive. It’s so easy to see his vision of a city as a form of art and to relate to his desire to escape reality and know a different time. For me, this time would be 1960s New York. For Gil, it’s 1920s Paris. And who can really fault him? Well, Inez, for starters. She doesn’t understand his passion and desire to write something great. Instead, she’s caught up in furniture shopping and in her friend Paul (Michael Sheen), who (mistakenly) seems to think he knows something about everything.  So what does one do in such circumstances? Take nighttime strolls that somehow land you a few decades in the past. Enter Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, to name a few memorable historical figures.

These midnight wanderings stay fascinating and do not get repetitive,whomever it is that Gil meets. They also bring up the question of which is preferable: the present or the past, which if you live in long enough, becomes your present. Everyone (besides Inez and her parents) seems to feel like another time is more enthralling than their own, but is it really? I have felt like that many times, so I completely understand. But don’t we feel like that most often when things aren’t going the way we want them to in our own era? It’s the times when we feel most restless and want to get away from all our problems that we think things would turn out differently if it was a different time. We romanticize whatever decade it is and tend to ignore the problems they had, kind of like Adriana from the 1920s (Marion Cotillard) does.  It’s not like this theory can be fully tested, but Gil seems to figure some things out for himself in this film.

I thought Midnight in Paris was a fun, creative movie. It fully held my attention the entire time. (Of course I didn’t think someone was trying to steal my cell phone, so that might have helped.) It’s one of those things where maybe you secretly wish something like that could happen to you, but you know it’s fiction so you just live vicariously through the film. I’ve only seen Owen Wilson in comedies thus far, so it was a welcome change to see him as the adorable, tad bit absentminded and completely relatable Gil. As Matt pointed out though, it’s hard to see how he even ended up with someone like Inez, who is the last person you would imagine him with.

All in all, Midnight in Paris is a welcome escape from reality, as I think a film should be. My opinion is similar to that of Peter Travers. This is a perfect blend of good-natured humor and romanticism. Because as cliché as it may sound, who doesn’t just want someone to hold their hand and walk around with them in the rain?

“Things don’t need to last forever to be perfect.”

I have to immediately preface this post by saying there will be absolutely no way I can give my complete opinion on this movie/but mainly the characters in it without giving away major plot points, or at least hinting at them. So if you have yet to see Daydream Nation (Michael Goldbach), well first I highly recommend going and watching it because I think it’s fantastic, but what I really mean is if you don’t like too much information given away prior to seeing a film, then maybe you should wait to read this.

Sometimes, I will go see a movie if I hear a lot of positive reviews, even if I wasn’t too intrigued by the trailer. Then there are times when I see a trailer and know immediately that I will be watching a film as soon as it is released because I expect to love it. These situations are even better when I’m right. Such was the case with Daydream Nation (2010). I love Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s [2008] is one of my favorites), so her participation was already incentive to see it. Then I read that Joe Leydon from Variety said that Daydream Nation “suggests Juno as reimagined by David Lynch,” (imagine some non-linear storytelling and a lot of flashbacks) and that was all I needed to permanently pique my interest.

So anyways. Slowly but surely getting to the point, I loved the movie. High school student Caroline Wexler (Kat Dennings) moves to a new school. Bad enough already, but this school is in a small, middle-of-nowhere town, where everyone knows everyone and there’s absolutely nothing to do. I can already relate. Well Caroline decides to solve the problem of boredom her own way, and really, who could fault her? Not I. She seduces her teacher, Mr. Anderson (Josh Lucas), but also sleeps with the endearing Thurston Goldberg (Reece Thompson). All this you can find in the trailer for the film, by the way. And if this sounds to you like a typical, boring teenage coming of age film or something of the sort, it’s not.

Now I must admit that I did a complete 180 while watching the movie. I initially thought that Thurston was slightly clingy and presumptuous (though still cute), while Mr. A was fun and possibly even charming. But boy was I wrong about him. This guy turns out to be be the most pathetic, self-pitying and self-absorbed jerk. The best scene exemplifying this is when Caroline narrates his manuscript that he has her read. It is a fictional autobiography with her as the ethereal heroine who saves him by being the perfect sex object. What…an ass. Who does he think he is anyway? Luckily, she immediately realizes that if he knows her so little it’s clearly not an ideal situation and bolts out of there. Good for her. Any man who can’t function on his own needs a reality check. Immediately. And it gets worse. This selfish, jealous egomaniac who has been obsessed and paranoid about getting caught up until this point, now decides to tell Thurston about his –albeit now over– relationship with Caroline to sabotage theirs. Unbelievable. Now I am perfectly aware that this is a completely realistic scenario and that there are indeed people out there who exist to do nothing than further their own interest, but it infuriates me nonetheless.

Luckily though, Caroline is the type of woman we should all aspire to be like. She shows up at Mr. A’s house and demands to know what he told Thurston. It blows my mind that he tries to make himself blameless in the situation by saying that the only reason she breaks things off with him is because she is succumbing to social pressure. It’s not too difficult to imagine someone being pressured into an unwanted relationship, but when Mr. A threatens suicide, Caroline walks away. Thank God. Because what would we do with someone who can’t stand up to some good old-fashioned guilt tripping, right? Not to mention hanging up on him when he calls her after to tell her that he’s shot himself. Kudos to her. And kudos to Thurston for having some common sense, ultimately believing Caroline and not letting Mr. A’s revelation ruin things between them. Because there’s no way she could have predicted how everything was to turn out, and as soon as she realized what she was doing and her true feelings, she rectified the situation immediately. In all honestly, can you ask for any more? (As a side note, I don’t think Mr. A even deserved to end up with the gym teacher, but alas, you can’t have everything.)

All in all, I think this movie is absolutely great. It’s a non-sugarcoated depiction of how the decisions we make can go in so many directions that we did not expect and how those decisions affect not just us, but also those in our close proximity. All of us do things that we don’t think through completely now and again, and Daydream Nation is a fun, edgy way of showing what can happen when our actions don’t go exactly as planned.

 

“What are you doing out here? I’m dreaming.”

Before I get into this film that I now absolutely adore, I’d like to preface my thoughts by saying that this is for my friend Matt, who is running off to go back to Chicago. Not that I blame him. Most of the time I want to run off somewhere too, and I don’t have a plan in the world. But this is for him putting up with my constant thesis worries, continuous movie ramblings and for  humoring me with the multiple trailers I got him to watch. So all in all, being one of the only people here that I could talk to about the things I care about, without him getting too sick of me. Or pretending not to. At any rate, it’s been great having him around, so there you go.

Now, as for the movie: All the Days Before Tomorrow (2007), directed by François Dompierre. Netflix recommended this film to me, and it apparently knows me well because I loved it. Simply put, it’s the story of Alison (Alexandra Holden), (who has a boyfriend), and Wes (Joey Kern), two friends who teeter on the border of not just friends over a period of approximately two years or so. Now this may not sound too interesting in itself. The secret lies in the method for telling their story. It is revealed through a series of non-linear flashbacks to the times they have spent together, and these are interspersed with what could be best termed dream sequences, during which Wes has enigmatic conversations with a philosophizing stranger (Richard Roundtree). These interactions are differentiated from the rest of the film by intertitles and are in black and white. They, in a humorous, surreal way, relate to whatever Wes is currently preoccupied with, offering a glimpse into his subconscious.

I will say that the film may be considered too slow paced by some, but this didn’t bother me, as its engaging nature makes up for the pace. It’s amazing how certain elements can be highly frustrating in one movie, but work perfectly in another. The pace and focus on conversation in Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (1997) drove me insane. However, the majority of All the Days Before Tomorrow revolves around conversation as well, but this time, it fits. Everything Wes and Alison talk about is relatable. For me, anyways. Their topics, and indeed their entire relationship, seems completely random and quirky, but that is what’s most endearing about it. It’s never boring, and the two characters exhibit such true emotion. And time plays such a key role in the film. It brings up questions about the people you meet, when you meet them and what effect the timing can play in how your relationships with those people are shaped. I personally think that sometimes things develop certain ways despite time because they’re meant to. But again, that’s just me.

The music also plays a significant part in the film. Every song seems to be the perfect song for its respective moment. For someone who really loves music, I very much appreciated the variety that was incorporated into the narrative.

The film does leave certain things unexplained. For instance, it never reveals how exactly Wes and Alison met for the first time. But somehow, this information isn’t necessary to understanding them. I am mildly curious, but not so much that the lack of explanation is bothersome. I imagine they met in some sort of wholly unexpected and ridiculously perfect way. All the Days Before Tomorrow is one of those movies that ends on one of those beautifully enigmatic notes that I favor in cinema, letting us decide what ultimately happens. This open-ended conclusion is apt for a film that deals with something as ambiguous as time and the wide range and depth of feeling that goes into the relationship between two people. A comment Alison makes really resonates throughout the movie’s entirety:

“That’s how you make me feel. Like I have all the time in the world because time doesn’t exist.”