Tallulah Directed and written by Sian Heder USA, 2016 Sian …
It’s been a tough year for Hannah. After her disheartening experience in Iowa, she returns home to a boyfriend who’s moved on and now, her father comes out of the closet, throwing doubt on her childhood and the one stable relationship in her life, that of her parents. While it’s likely Hannah doth protest too much, her repeated claims that she’s fine and her assertion that her father’s sexuality has nothing to do with her are pleasant surprises. Her therapist (Bob Balaban) was right- Hannah’s handling the changes in her life with shocking maturity.
After the intense and draining “Sit-In”, in “Close-Up”, Girls chooses to continue the narrative not with Hannah, but Adam, following him and Mimi-Rose through their typical morning routine. It’s a good move—viewers already know what Hannah looks like post-breakup, but Mimi-Rose and the person Adam’s become with her are new entities and it’s exciting to see their dynamic explored. As Jessa has said, Adam is lighter here than he has been recently, energetic and optimistic in a way he hasn’t consistently been with Hannah since getting his Broadway break in season three. It’s nice to see, despite how short-lived it is. Gillian Jacobs is a strong addition to the cast as Mimi-Rose, making her entertainingly similar to Hannah in her self-centeredness while diametrically opposed in the way that manifests itself. Mimi-Rose’s revelation that she’s had an abortion without consulting Adam is harsh, making her feel utterly cold and lacking in empathy, but this is countered by her lovely sentiment that she may not need Adam, but she wants him, and to her, that’s far more meaningful. Adam has ricocheted from one end of the spectrum to the other and it will be interesting to see how he handles the emotional whiplash.
It’s painful to criticize a well-intentioned, socially relevant movie like I Am Michael. Director Justin Kelly’s passion for the project is evident in every frame. Still, there’s no denying this is a deeply flawed and surprisingly sparse film that fails to illuminate its frustrating protagonist. Despite a few moments of emotional clarity and a solid performance from James Franco, I Am Michael leaves you feeling ambivalent and, quite frankly, bored. This is a fascinating story that got lost in translation.
In almost everything, there is subtext, intentional or not. In the ‘not’ category is the significant black cloud coming with the silver lining of three massive developments in movieland this year. Firstly, after months of feverish speculation, J.J. Abrams was chosen as the man to helm the return of Star Wars to the big screen; he confirmed his worthiness for the role with the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, a mega-hit blockbuster action adventure putting the highly rated Star Trek 2009 into the shadows; almost in an attempt to draw attention away from Disney and Spielberg’s protégé, James Cameron announced that the most successful film of all time, his film Avatar, would indeed have the three sequels he had long discussed, thankfully with different screen writers covering the wordy bits. Cue much jubilation from fandom; the silver lining. The malignant black cloud, the subtext, was the continued throes of the science-fiction genre as it is starved to death.