TIFF 2012: Thanks for Sharing and Everyday Review (Paolo Kagaoan)

Photo from http://www.tiff.net

Thanks for Sharing (2012)

Directed by Stuart Blumberg

Starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Alecia ‘Pink’ Moore, Carol Kane, Tim Robbins, Joely Richardson and Patrick Fugit

Thanks for Sharing’s opening sequence has a shot of Mark Ruffalo praying, and these shots are digital, crisp and clean. This kind of visual cleanliness is ironic because the city it depicts, New York City, as well as the characters in it are dirr-ty! Ruffalo walks the streets of Manhattan full of lingerie ads. 2012 lingerie ads, if you’re getting my implications. It’s either the movie shows the dated aspects in writer-director Stuart Blumberg’s concept of overwhelmed sexual stimuli or Ruffalo’s character is just into barely legal anorexics. There’s lots of proof within the movie to back up both readings of it.

Ruffalo’s Adam, named after the original, primordial man, is in a Sex Addicts Anonymous 12 step program. There’s Mike (Tim Robbins), the papa bear of the group. Neil (Josh Gad), a doctor, is the kind of guy who humps people on the subways, fakes his sobriety day count and videotapes up his boss’s skirt. Peggy A. Schnizter costumed this movie and is apparently terrible at it. Anyway, the fourth member of the group is Dede (Alecia ‘Pink’ Moore), a foul-mouthed perfectly cast manic pixie dream girl who becomes Neil’s platonic BFF. These characters have love interests (Gwyneth Paltrow, who shares great chemistry with Ruffalo), wives (Joely Richardson), sons (Patrick Fugit, who is finally a man) and mothers (Carol Kane) who also deal with the main characters’ addictions as well as their own issues

The movie raises thoughts about sex addiction, proving sex addiction’s veracity as a disease and on a case to case basis and incorporating our own personal experiences to the disease. It’s mostly humourous, although there’s a shot where the gag takes place in the background and not the foreground. The last half hour would have been your typical rom-com conflict driven dénouement, but Mike’s wife’s comment, triggering most of the characters to go out of control, is jarringly cruel and refreshingly disturbing. It’s that one thing thrown into the mix that makes this movie less than conventional.

Photo from http://www.tiff.net

EVERYDAY (2012)

Directed by Michael Winterbottom

Starring Shirley Henderson, John Simm, Shaun Kirk, Katrina Kirk, Stephanie Kirk, Robert Kirk

Michael Nyman scores this new Michael Winterbottom movie about a working class woman named Karen (Shirley Henderson). It’s a beautiful score that would be successful with or without the movie for which it is composed. The title, EVERYDAY, implies what we’re going to see for the next ninety minutes or so. It portrays five years of her and her kids preparing for the day, taking lots of public transportation – do cabs count – to school or her two jobs as well as to her husband (John Simm), who is incarcerated for most of the movie’s running time.

Winterbottom has filmed his actors for the same five years of Karen’s husband’s prison time. It’s a more realistic depiction of change, an experiment as to whether familial relationships can withstand a half decade of distance. He also doesn’t rely on aging make-up or wigs, and fortunately Henderson isn’t given the same cartoony roles that she has been reduced to in the past. Their kids have their naughty moments that almost make us worry. Despite that, Winterbottom thankfully doesn’t exclusively prove whether they turn up as bad kids or good ones. But the characters’ physical constancy reflects their interior static nature, making their lives almost mundane. Again, why watch a movie where nothing really happens? And if Karen is decidedly naturalistic and bare, so is her husband depicted unclearly. Simm makes his character good of a husband and father without exploring why he ended up in jail or excusing his behaviour. If anything, the child actors carry this movie, their young unsculpted faces and voices surprisingly capable of engendering the yearning for the father they barely see. This is especially true with Shaun (Shaun Kirk) draws out the way he tells his dad that he misses the latter, more haunting than Henderson, as great as she is here.

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