If someone isn't already planning double feature showings of 'Carol' and 'Far From Heaven' they need to get on it pronto. With these two films (and his 'Mildred Pierce' miniseries), Todd Haynes has become the master of making the 1950s something other than the idyllic fantasy land of perfect families and white picket fences that we are typically shown in pop culture and the historical record.
'Carol' certainly lacks the bigger dramatics seen in the earlier film but it doesn't…
Watching this during the holiday season is an absolute must every single year. Comedies in this style aren't usually my thing but this one just works in every conceivable way.
"We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse."
Michael Moore has the power to turn people against each other in record time if you happen to disagree on his merits as a documentary filmmaker but with Bowling For Columbine I truly believe he defined a time period of American history better than any other cinematic resource. He asks some very difficult questions here that ultimately can't be answered definitively but as a conversation starter this is perfection.
The saddest thing about it though is that 10 years later…
If someone had told me ten years ago that Ben Affleck was about to direct three standout films in a row with the third film destined for numerous Oscar nominations, I would have slapped said person hard and unleashed a barrage of expletives at him/her with a thick (and horribly fake) Boston accent. At the time no one would have thought me out of line, but sure enough, Affleck has proven me wrong in a very big way.