Lisa Johnson Mandell reveals her choices for Must Miss Movies — four frustrating, forgettable films that you might otherwise be tricked into seeing.
Now that I’ve posted my Must See Movies, it’s time to warn you about the films that highly disappointed me, and will likely disappoint you as well. Many of them are getting major awards buzz, and some of them feature your favorite actors. But I’m telling you, if you’re looking for a fun night out at the movies, these films are not the ticket.
Here’s my list of Must Miss Movies, in no particular order:
Silence: “Torture” is the keyword for Martin Scorsese’s passion project. It describes what’s happening on screen, and how you’ll feel as you sit through more than two-and-a-half hours of gruesomeness. The story revolves around two 17th century Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) attempting to find their mentor, who has been lost in Japan, where Christians are tortured, abused and murdered. It’s a film about the way God and man communicate, and there are some nice moments exploring that, but it’s not worth sitting through all the lengthy self indulgence in between.
20th Century Women: Annette Bening will probably receive an Oscar nod for her performance in this rambling, repetitive film set in 1979, about a dithering Santa Barbara single mom who decides the best way to parent her teenage son (Lucas Jade Zumann) is with the help of her boarding house tenants including a quirky punk photographer (Greta Gerwig), a mellow handyman (Billy Crudup) and her son’s best friend (Elle Fanning). Director Mike Mills told me it’s an autobiographical piece, and it does indeed feel real — like one incredibly long, hot, boring summer where nothing interesting really happens. It might have been sweet if half an hour of its nearly two hour run time had been edited out.
Manchester by the Sea: I’m going to take a lot of shade for berating such a critical darling, but darn this movie was long, dark and depressing. Casey Affleck‘s much heralded performance is one note: glum. He plays a working class New Englander (those Aflecks and Wahlbergs never pass up an opportunity to use their Boston accents) who inherits custodianship of his dead brother’s (Kyle Chandler) teenage son (Lucas Hedges). Michelle Williams is his ex-wife. It’s two hours and 15 minutes of miserable people trying to figure out how to be less miserable, without much success.
Paterson: A bus driver (Adam Driver) named Paterson drives a bus in Paterson, New Jersey and writes poetry on his breaks. His daily routine of driving, writing, walking the dog, drinking one beer at the bar and humoring his frivolous wife seldom varies. Many critics are celebrating the simplicity of this film, and writer/director Jim Jarmusch does have certain slow, subtle style, but most people can see pretty much the same thing while staring out their front window.
Lisa’s List of Must Miss Movies — Long Hours You’ll Never Get Back