One day this summer, sitting in a blank white apartment that was not mine, I felt a strange weariness. This apartment was full of more books than I will probably ever read and I had fellowships to apply to and emails to write and the whole Internet in front of me and all of New York City clamoring outside.
There is always an interesting tone to the buzz around the release of a new Wes Anderson film. People wonder if the new film will stick closely to Anderson’s unique style in order to satisfy his cult following or if it will lean more toward the mainstream in an effort to garner more fans and more box office success. These are valid questions and concerns.
Every year I try to watch the films nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars. Last week, I saw one of these, Philomena, starring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears. The film is about Philomena Lee (Dench), an old Irish woman who is searching for the son that the Catholic Church forced her to give into adoption fifty years prior.
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is tense and unflinching. Its relentless intensity and graphic brutality has been the defining feature in the media, but it is also an essential part of the film and the primary reason it could become the most important portrait of American slavery yet on camera.