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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
Two difficult movies in a row. The main character (the child) reminded me of Bennett. I didn’t like seeing the towers fall again, though at least this time it wasn’t over and over again like it was on “The Worst Day”… I liked the idea of a Sixth Borough, but it hurt my heart to see so much of New York City that I miss so desperately. I felt sick afterward. I don’t know what that means for someone else, but I think for me it’s still too soon.

The Help (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
Oh man, The Help was a hard movie for me. Racism sucks no matter the era, and I’m still having a really difficult time being okay with the agent of change being a Southern white woman rather than the main characters themselves. As a young white woman writer myself, I identified with Emma Stone’s character and cringed at the bleach-blonde racism of the other white (women) characters. I think part of the reason it’s so hard for me is because I don’t I’m that much better. When was the last time I stood up against racism? Is it a regular thing for me, or do I hide behind my privilege just like most other white people in this country? I fear/suspect/know it’s the latter, not the former. And I hate that. And I hate being confronted with it even though I know I should willingly do so.

Hugo in 3D (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 25 February 2012)
This was the first film my sister and I saw on the second day (of two) of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase. It was in 3D! We spent the first five minutes swatting the air because we kept thinking it was snowing on us. Obviously, we (1) see a lot of snow, and (2) see a lot of movies in 3D. >_> Obviously. Anyway, it was a cute story, and I liked the lesson I got from it, which was “if all the Earth is a machine, and machines only come with exactly the number of parts they need (and not any extra), then each of us an important part of the Earth since we can consider ourselves all necessary parts.” Although I’m not so mechanically inclined as Hugo, I think someone telling me that when I was feeling desperate in high school and college might’ve helped. I don’t know, but it made me think of my younger self and wonder what someone else could’ve done to better reach out to me. As a side note, I went into the film thinking it was a cartoon, but it isn’t, so just be aware of that if you watch it for yourself.

The Descendants (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 18 February 2012)
Sister and I actually arrived late for this film because I miscalculated how long it would take to eat dinner. Turned out it didn’t matter much that we were around 15 minutes late because it was thankfully nothing like The Tree of Life and we were able to pick up the story after a short while. George Clooney was really good, actually, and I liked the story. In the end, though, I at first thought the plot was too realistic (if I wanted real life, I wouldn’t go to the movies, after all, right?) and then that it wasn’t realistic enough (because of the way the family predictably ended up handling the sale of their inherited land).

The Tree of Life (viewed as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase 18 February 2012)
Holy sheesh what is this movie I don’t even. Seriously. Also, Brad Pitt again? Really? I mean, it was billed as an imppresionistic… and it most definitely is. It’s allegedly about a son’s relationship with his father but it has the beginning of the world and dinosaurs and everything I mean what. It was Art with a capital ‘a’, If you know what I mean. It was good, I guess, but it felt like one of those movies that rich snobs talk about. Wing better than the others over expensive glasses of wine and I’m standing there with a root beer and totally out my depth. I didn’t understand it and it was exhausting to watch.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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