What’s Anna Watching?

Since my article two weeks ago, I’ve been quite busy watching Dexter. So busy I’m already on season six. My husband, who is ridiculously selfish, asked me to stop watching season six so he could watch too on his down time. So I did and instead rented a few movies from my local red box. I rented three movies that had received overall good reviews from the staff here at The Awards Circuit. Two of the movies I enjoyed, the other one not so much.

This first movie I decided to watch was Margaret (2011) starring Anna Paquin. This movie was by far the biggest waste of time and money. Margaret tells the story about Lisa, (Paquin) an immature, hormonal, impulsive teenage girl who witnesses a bus accident, which she was partly responsible for, that results in the death of a pedestrian woman. Lisa is left facing the aftermath of the accident when she lies to the police about what really happened.

The film had an interesting plotline, but took forever to get there. On top of its slow pace, the film itself was all over the place. About an hour into this two and a half hour film, I had enough of the messy story, the mediocre acting, and Lisa just screaming for no reason at all. Margaret seemed to be more focused on showing how teenagers can be obnoxious and stupid, rather than telling a story about how a young girl witnesses a horrific event and has to deal with it. The movie is way too long and really has no point.

After sitting through two and a half hours of Margaret I needed some laughter. Following Margaret I watched the comedy Wanderlust (2012). I’ve never been a big Jennifer Aniston fan, but I love Paul Rudd so it was worth the buck. Wanderlust tells the story of George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston), a Manhattan based married couple whose world is rattled when George loses his job. They find themselves with only one option; to move in with George’s horrible brother in the south. On their road trip they stop at a place called Elysium, a place they believe is a hotel. Very quickly they realize they’ve found themselves in a community where the people live a very free-spirited life. This lifestyle rubs off on George and Linda and they decide to live there and live the relaxing life of free love.

To my surprise, I actually enjoyed the film very much. I didn’t go into expecting very much so that’s probably why, but I really enjoyed how relaxed Aniston seemed in this role compared to her latest failures, and Rudd is always a joy to watch. I probably wouldn’t watch it again, but I found it quite funny and entertaining. The movie is extremely crude and definitely has some questionable moments, but it’s the kind of film where you don’t have to do anything but simply sit back and enjoy.

The last film I rented I knew nothing about, only that Jack Black was a delight, so it seemed worth it to witness such a rare occurrence. Bernie (2011)  was the last film I watched and I loved it. Bernie is based on a true story about Bernie Tiede, (Jack Black) a genuinely nice man who moves to a small town in Texas and becomes the local mortician everybody can rely on. After Marjorie’s (Shirley MacLaine) husband passes away, Bernie takes it upon himself to comfort her in every way possible, even though she’s the most hated woman among the community. At first Marjorie enjoys Bernie’s company so much she puts him in charge of all her assets and they begin to travel the world together. Bernie’s companionship and love towards Marjorie makes her less of a hateful woman, but soon after the happiness drifts away, she begins to take advantage of Bernie. Bernie being the nice guy he is doesn’t leave her or tell her off, but in a moment of anger Bernie does something he never thought he would do and does everything he can to hide it.

Bernie is a very good film and Jack Black is the best he’s ever been in it. Normally in his films, Black always plays some version of himself, even when he’s playing some character there are always pieces of him in the role. In Bernie, Black disappears into this character and truly shows what he is capable of as an actor. Let’s just hope this film is the beginning of something new for Black as an actor. MacLaine, who knows mean, is brilliant as usual. Another surprise that came out of this film was the addition of Matthew McConaughey as D.A. Danny Buck Davidson. Lately, I’ve noticed McConaughey taking a different direction with his film choices; hopefully this is him realizing his career can be more about serious acting than romantic comedies where he somehow finds himself without a shirt. I’m glad he realized he can be shirtless in dramas too.  Bernie is a dark comedy that is filmed in a documentary style and I loved that most about the film. Bernie is a fantastic piece of work and I highly recommend it.

Below you will find my ratings of the films I just watched. If you’ve seen them, tell me what you thought! Hopefully this week I’ll be able to finish Season six of Dexter and resume my Netflix addiction. Tune in next time for What’s Anna Watching?


Margaret: (*½) 

Wanderlust: (***)

Bernie: (***½)

What do you think?

Written by Anna Young

I’ve grown up always being able to share my love of film with others. What makes it particularly important to me is that my passion started with my parents and my best friend Caitlin. Whether it has been spending the whole day at the theater with my parents, or sitting on the floor of a movie store for hours with Caitlin, this love of mine has always been a huge part of who I am. This love affair has been going strong for over a decade. My name is Anna and I’m in love with film.

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