A blend of personal favorites and films that I consider to be the "greatest." Top two-hundred is definitive. Only 1940-2015.
Everyone gets old. Not everyone grows up.
A divorced writer from the Midwest returns to her hometown to reconnect with an old flame, who's now married with a family.
Every now and again you get a character in a film with a cringe-factor that you cannot help but dislike. Jason Reitman made Charlize Theron just that sort of character in this rather uncomfortable comedy/drama that has so many of those moments when you stifle laughter at the most inappropriate outbursts or scenarios. It's cynical on the outside, maybe just a little too honest, but harbors a truly messed-up central character about as damaged and deluded as they come.
Charlize Theron is a beautiful woman, but there are times in this film where they really do try their best to make her as ugly on the outside as she is on the inside. That didn't quite come out right, it's…
Included In Lists:
Strong Performances - Charlize Theron
Review In A Nutshell:
Young Adult was like a breath of fresh air when I saw it for the first time. It took themes that have been recycled repeatedly, and sucker punch the audience with its final act. I distinctively remember jumping out of my seat when I first viewed the film's final 20 minutes as it came at me with such force that even after the film was over, I was still dwelling on how amazingly wicked and shocking it was. Young Adult isn't a film that would appeal to everyone, but if one sees it at the right place and time, then no question that one would label this film…
Well this really is the End of Days because I just enjoyed a film penned by Diablo Cody. I never thought it possible after her first two horribly self-aware and smug movies. There are hints of this here too but it works far better when you aren’t supposed to like the character at the centre of the story.
Charlize Theron is sensational as the woman who, despite leaving her small hometown for the big city, has never really been able to leave it. Via her job as a Young Adult writer she has become stuck in the world of high school, a world where she had everything and is still living vicariously through her characters. She is a brilliant, horrific…
Been intrigued to watch this for a while and it did not disappoint, I love the cynicism and the dark comedy and Charlize Theron's ferociously humorous and great performance that manages to make her likable despite the fact the character shes playing is kind of horrible. Theron is perfect for that tricky task. I like how the film builds a character study of her quite abhorrent character Mavis, the high school "It girl" is someone we don't usually follow for the full course of a film. Its intriguing to create a three dimensional comic antihero who in every scene makes you grimace and cringe at what she says and believes.
This film felt so amazingly awkward as you realize straight…
It's become 'a thing' to slag Diablo Cody of late, to the extent that Bobcat Goldthwaite's God Bless America included a brace of jokes aimed at Cody and her first screenwriting success Juno. It's hard not to see this as anything other than sexism, as Tarantino rarely gets this level of shit for writing hip stylised dialogue, and it's rare to hear any jokes about Juno director Jason Reitman. Young Adult should go some way to countering some of this criticism, dispensing with 'yoof' vernacular.
The film features an astonishing central performance from Charlize Theron as a self centred, borderline alcoholic, writer who goes back to her hometown with the express intention of wrecking her former high school boyfriend's marriage. The character is barely redeemable.
This is a filmI largely watched through my fingers, such is the level of mortifying embarrassment on display. It's a back hearted drama that is quite compatible to Todd Solondz at his most misanthropic.
Somewhat darker and more dramatic than I anticipated, Young Adult was a very pleasant surprise and has definitely earned a second viewing. Charlize Theron (snubbed for an Oscar nomination, though I believe she may have deserved it) does an incredible job playing the thoroughly unlikeable Mavis Gary, a shallow former prom queen who returns to her hicksville hometown of Mercury in order to try and win back her old flame, undeterred by his married-with-newborn-child status. There are many dark laughs, and more than a few relatable moments for anyone who has indulged in the avoidance of ‘growing up’ (isn't that all of us?), but the real genius of this film is that for all the terrible things Mavis says and…
Charlize Theron convincingly plays the psycho-bitch ex-girlfriend but the problems run deeper than her superficial memories of high school.
I've got to give it up to Theron. A lot of actresses wouldn't want to touch a part that makes them so unlikable, but she totally goes for it while still managing to wring a little sympathy out of the character. Oh, and can we find a supporting role for Patton Oswalt in every movie?
A well played (I hope... ;-)) Bitch that wins your sympathy and understanding.
It really is a well-crafted, almost minimalistic piece of writing, acting and direction. I like Young Adult more than I like Up In The Air or Juno.
Cody has the uncanny ability of sticking to a theme and making everything in the script work for it. She wastes so little. I love it when a script knows its place, yet manages to surprise you with depth and complexity.
Viewed at the Barn in Little Rock, AR.
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
This column originally appeared in The Independent on Sunday:
Released in 2011, Young Adult is the second collaboration between Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman. While the first, Juno, was rightly praised for its offbeat take on unplanned pregnancy, the pair’s sophomoric effort was somewhat less heralded and nothing like as successful at the box office. It is a darker and more pessimistic film but still remarkably accomplished and deserving of a wider audience.
Charlie Theron plays Mavis Gary, a divorced writer of young adult novels. It is quite clear from the outset that Mavis might be approaching 40 but she’s every bit as adolescent as the teenagers in her books. She drinks too much, eats fast food constantly (though suspiciously…
Young Adult is unapologetic in its characterisation, unlike most independent dramas of its ilk that force a change of heart out of its heroes. Diablo Cody's sharp script provides the basis for what is essentailly a shameless character study of mental illness and arrested development. Kudos to Jason Reitman for drawing a great performance from Charlize Theron (one of her best, no doubt) but let's not neglect Patton Oswalt here too who shines in a great supporting role. A refreshing film to say the least!
Sometimes I get stuck in a rut when it comes to watching films. I either just watch anything that comes…
Not including any 2015 releases, in accordance with LB/festival release dates (not US release dates); 2010-2014.