Jackson and Larson

**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of AwardsCircuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances**

On a large canvas in a quiet, sterile art gallery, Brie Larson paints her heart out. And evidently, her heart is a smorgasbord of colors. Hues of vibrant pinks, and blues and purples, she brushes in broad, passionate strokes. In “The Unicorn Store (2019), which Larson directs and stars in, she finishes her painting with a flourish and turns to the disapproving critic. With paint streaking her face, she meets his exasperated gaze. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013) a film about an archivist at Life magazine as the publication reaches its death knell, the titular Walter Mitty bikes through the Icelandic countryside, the sky as joyful as a box of Crayola crayons. Ben Stiller stars as Walter Mitty, while also sitting in the director’s chair.

Movies That Deserve More Attention

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013), dir. Ben Stiller

These two films are shining examples of works that can be described as happy and heartfelt. In addition, they both received mixed critical reviews. There is something particularly telling about that. This speaks to how films that are more whimsical and lightheartedmovies that tend to uplift and sometimes center around “giving the little guys” their dueare not taken as seriously as they should.

“The Unicorn Store” (2019), dir. Brie Larson

Critics tend to regard dramas and dark comedies more favorably. And that’s valid, especially since dramas might be more likely to take up social critique as a significant part of the work. Certainly, there are films out there destined to become a part of the zeitgeist, that can reflect the most unknowable and painful part of our worlds. Movies can use the lens to capture an inner life with grace and dignity. They can expose the vulnerable and ineffable. But there are also films like “The Unicorn Store” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” which are not necessarily meant to be critical darlings but are important nevertheless. “Walter Mitty” for example, pays a touching tribute to David Bowie. “The Unicorn Store” conveys the creative life and mind of a young woman whose art is rejected by powerful men, while also weaving in a successful homage to “The Divine Comedy.” They deserve our time and attention. 

What is a film you feel like you need to defend to others? Let us know in the comments below!

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