Tina Kakadelis
YA Author

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Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

I Made a New Year's Resolution After All

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So despite saying just a few days ago that I wasn’t planning on making any New Year's resolutions, ya girl went and made a New Year's resolution. I’m not eating kale or drinking more water or anything like that. I’ve decided that every single day in 2018, I’m going to watch a movie. Yes, this is the dumbest resolution I could make. However, I truly do not care and I’m going to stick with it. I already anticipate failing because I’m going home to visit in like a week or so and I’ll probably have something better to do than watch a movie.

By the end of 2018, though, I want to have watched 365 films. Since I’m going to TIFF this year, there’s a good chance I’ll make up for any missed days because I end up watching at least three movies a day there. Whatever. You’re not invested in that. I get it. You wanna know what movies I’ve already watched for the first five days of 2018.

Here we go:

I, Tonya

National Treasure

The Beguiled

Black Mirror: San Junipero

Lovesong

If you want to split hairs, I guess technically, San Junipero is a TV show, but it’s on the movie rating app, Letterboxd, so I’m counting it. Sue me. I’ve also seen National Treasure NUMEROUS times before, but listen, this is a forking good movie and I’m in love with Diane Kruger.

WHATEVER. This is my New Year's resolution. Go get your own.

Needless to say, there will be spoilers below.

I wanna tell y’all about I, Tonya first and foremost because it’s the most recent movie to come out and one that’s drumming up a lot of awards chatter. Margot Robbie’s performance was unreal, and when they took the focus away from her to focus on other people, the movie faltered. She was the insanely talented glue that held this movie together. I didn’t have an opinion on her acting talents because I’ve only seen her in Suicide Squad. (Yeah, that's right. I haven’t seen The Wolf of Wall Street yet. It just sounded like so much effort to sit through that.)

One of the things about awards season that bothers me is that people put a lot of stock in the transformations actors go through to become their roles. Or their press circuit always centers on some injury they got on set because they were just too committed. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence started very early this year. Leo DiCaprio did it two years ago.

The reason it bugs me is that, yes, it shows how committed you are, but that doesn’t mean you had a good performance. The hurdler who breaks a leg on the first hurdle was really committed, but they still came in last.

The reason I bring this up is because people are already talking about Margot Robbie’s “incredible transformation” and if she does win, it’ll always be linked to that. Truly, was it THAT much of a transformation? In her case, that’s not the extent or strength of her acting.

The scene where she relives the triple axel was simultaneously beautiful and sad. You have this moment that felt so deserved because we’ve seen her work her ass off to never be considered as good because she didn’t fit the feminine ideals the figure skating world wanted her to fit into. But this triple axel was the biggest, most beautiful “fuck you” to all of them. And all of that is there in her face. In the Tonya that’s reflecting back on it in the interview and the Tonya that lands it in real time. It’s this moment of pure triumph that has an undercurrent of pain because all her life, Tonya just wanted to be Good. She wanted people to like her. She wanted to matter and, in that moment for maybe the first time in her life, she had hope.

The movie also had a lot to say about how society views women and how they treat the women who don’t fit into their cookie cutter idea of what women should look and act like. A woman shouldn’t have spent the morning chopping down wood and fixing cars. A woman shouldn’t be dressed like that. Despite being the best skater out there, the judges knocked down her scores because rough tomboy Tonya Harding was not who they wanted to be the face of figure skating. How we all wish movie Tonya’s “suck my dick” to the judges could’ve been real.

One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the movie is where she tracks down a judge to his car and is desperate. All she wants to know is how to get a fair shot at the thing she loves. That scene and the courthouse scene toward the end solidified Margot Robbie’s performance for me.

As for the rest, I thought it was a little ridiculous that they wanted me to believe  Sebastian Stan and Margot Robbie were 15. They also couldn’t figure out the tone they were going for. They’d frame some of the abusive scenes as the horror they are and then treat others without the same sincerity. All in all, though, what a triumph for Margot Robbie.

I don’t think I truly have an opinion on The Beguiled. I liked it. It’s not Sofia Coppola’s finest and the lighting made the movie very tough to watch on a laptop. It’s no Virgin Suicides. Virgin Homicide, though, amiright??

Lovesong is a movie I’ve half avoided and half looked forward to. Here’s a fun fact about me; I love Riley Keough. Yet another criminally underused actor whose movies I will watch. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen movies of some actors that only the actors’ parents have also seen.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by Lovesong. It was a very quiet movie. The kind of movie my sister would despise. She likes musicals because they sing all their feelings. I like movies where people just quietly stare longingly at one another. So needless to say, I enjoyed myself. I was not expecting to be blindsided by that much sadness, but boy did this hit me hard.

Speaking of movies, I think I’m going to put up a post about the Golden Globes this weekend. I don’t have a TV, so I’ll be living through twitter. HOWEVER, I do have a lot of unpopular opinions and I’m rooting real hard for Lady Bird. Look for that maybe tomorrow? It has to be tomorrow because that’s when the awards are, but will I make my deadline? We’ll find out.