Oscar Picks 2016

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It’s that time again. Let’s see who will come out on top this year. Jon is on the left and Miranda is on the right. We’ll see you on the other side.

Sound Mixing

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Visual Effects

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Make Up and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

Music (Original Song)

Til It Happens to You

Writings on the Wall

Documentary (Short Subject)

Body Team 12

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Short Film (Animated)

World of Tomorrow

Sanjay’s Super Team

Short Film (Live Action)

Everything Will Be Okay

Everything Will be Okay

Documentary (Feature)

Amy

Amy

Music (Original Score)

Ennio Morricone – The Hateful 8

The Hateful Eight

Production Design

Revenant

Mad Max: Fury Road

Foreign Language Film

Son of Saul

Son of Saul

Costume Design

Carol

Carol

Film Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

Spotlight

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Spotlight

Spotlight

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Big Short

Room

Animated Feature Film

Inside Out

Inside Out

Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant

The Revenant

Directing

Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant

Alejandro G. Inarritu

Actress in a Supporting Role

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Alicia Vikander

Actor in a Supporting Role

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Sylvester Stallone

Actress in a Leading Role

Brie Larson – Room

Brie Larson

Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Picture

Spotlight

The Revenant

2015 Oscar Picks

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And we are back again. This year has been a crazy one. We got married! So there’s that 🙂 And it was a pretty good year for movies as well. We saw one of the short films The Phone Call at Tribeca which is pretty cool, considering it’s a great short. This year also has some awesome contenders for Best Picture. So enjoy our picks and compare them with your own! Miranda is on the left and Jon is on the right.

Best Short Film – Live Action

The Phone Call The Phone Call

Best Short Film – Animated

Feast Feast

Best Documentary – Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1  Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Documentary – Feature

Citizenfour Citizenfour

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Interstellar Interstellar

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) American Sniper

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Whiplash Whiplash

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

“Glory”

Selma

“Glory”

Selma

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

The Theory of Everything

Johann Johannsson

The Theory of Everything

Johann Johannsson

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Achievement in Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Achievement in Production Design 

Interstellar The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Achievement in Editing

Whiplash Boyhood

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Birdman or (The Expected Virtue of Ignorance) Birdman or (The Expected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Ida Ida

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

How to Train Your Dragon 2 How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Whiplash Whiplash
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Achievement in Directing

Richard Linklater for Boyhood Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman or (The Expected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

J. K. Simmons in Whiplash J. K. Simmons in Whiplash

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Julianne Moore in Still Alice Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything  Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Expected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Boyhood Boyhood

2014 Oscar Picks

So Jon had waaaay more time than Miranda to think out long extravagant descriptions for his picks so please excuse the very bare side! And we picked everything completely independently so it’s cool that we agreed in so many categories.  And without further ado we present to you…. dut dut dut duh! Our 2014 Oscar Picks! (Miranda is on the left and Jon is on the right) Let the games begin! May the odds me ever in your favor! And here… we… GO!

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Best Short Film – Live Action

Helium

 

Very heart warming!

The Voorman Problem

 

This was a weak year for short films.  In my mind this came down to this film and Helium.  The Voorman Problem was well made and had big name attached to it (Martin Freeman).  Also, I love that the source material is the David Mitchell novel number9dream.  So when in doubt go with the movie star with well written source material.

Best Short Film – Animated

Mr. Hublot

 

An animated film set in a futuristic world that beautifully conveyed OCD and the bond between a man and his dog in 11 minutes.

Mr. Hublot

 

It came down to Mr Hublot and Get a Horse!  Since Disney won the Oscar last year for Paperman, I’m gambling on the Academy not giving it to them two years in a row.  Plus Mr Hublot is the futuristic, funny story of a robot man with OCD and his relationship with his mechanical dog.  There is no dialogue, yet the audience learns so much about the two characters.  In my mind, this film was far and away the best short film, so I hope it gets rewarded as such.

Best Documentary – Short Subject

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life

 

The Lady in Number 6

 

How can you vote against a documentary about the oldest Holocaust survivor who plays the piano every day?  I hate that this could factor in the Academies decision, but Alice Hertz, the pianist, passed away two days before voting closed.

Best Documentary – Feature

The Act of Killing

 

Didn’t see it but heard good things.

20 Feet from Stardom

Want: The Act of Killing

 

The race is coming down to these two films and I think that the Academy will go with the documentary with the cheerier subject matter.  Everything I have heard about 20 Feet from Stardom is that it gives an interesting look into the lives of backup singers in the music industry.  The Act of Killing is one of the most unique films I have ever seen, but it is not a “feel-good” movie.  Maybe the voting comes down to something as simple as that.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Gravity

 

The obvious choice.

Gravity

 

This is a no-brainer.  Expect to hear Gravity’s name called a lot on Oscar night.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

 

Gravity

 

Sweeping…

Gravity

 

The long stretches of silence disbursed throughout the movie were great.  It really added to the sense of isolation that was prevalent in the film.  I loved how the film toggled back and forth between the two.  Sometimes the best sound is no sound.  Deep stuff…

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Gravity

 

Gravity

 

I still don’t know what the difference in these two categories is, so I’m banking on Gravity getting both of them.  That’s a sound strategy (thank you, thank you I’ll be here all night).

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

 

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – “Ordinary Love”

Want: “Let It Go” or “The Moon Song”

 

I think it will win the Oscar too, even though I was upset that it beat Frozen for the Golden Globe. I love Frozen and I’m going to learn The Moon Song on the uke!

Frozen – “Let It Go”

Want: Her – “The Moon Song”

 

I really loved “The Moon Song” not just because of catchy it is, but because of the role music played in the film.  Also, it sucks that “Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis was deemed not an original song. This is a bummer man.  “Let It Go” will win because Frozen is just wildly popular.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

 

Gravity

Want: Her

 

 

Her

 

To be honest, I don’t remember the score from a lot of these movies.  This is purely a guess (because all of my other picks are so meticulously calculated).

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

 

Dallas Buyers Club

 

Oh yeah I did say that didn’t I…

Dallas Buyers Club

Want: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

 

I want to see Miranda punch her television.  However, Bad Grandpa won’t win because often time this comes down to rewarding the best movie and Dallas Buyers Club is clearly the best movie out of the three.  Plus, there was an article written recently that the makeup budget was $250 for Dallas Buyers Club and apparently that’s not a lot of money to spend on makeup.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

 

The Great Gatsby

 

Brooks Brothers suits and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

American Hustle

Want: The Great Gatsby

 

American Hustle reminds me of this year’s Argo.  A period piece set not too long ago that was a fun, feel-good movie.  The Academy loved Argo and they appear to love American Hustle based on the fact that all the actors and actresses got nominated for awards.  I say all this because American Hustle is bound to take a few awards home on Oscar night and this should be one of them.  This is a shame because Gatsby’s pink suit was incredible, old sport.

Best Achievement in Production Design

 

American Hustle

Want: Gatsby or Her

American Hustle

 

Crazy clothes and great set pieces.  American Hustle is a flashy, fun to look at movie lacking depth and substance.  It will probably get these two Oscars because it was a great looking movie.

Best Achievement in Editing

 

Gravity

 

Gravity

 

This came down to Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.  What swayed me over to Gravity is the fact that the long, lingering camera shots in 12 Years a Slave seemed to be more of a directorial choice, rather than an editor piecing together a film.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

 

Gravity

 

Haven’t put the broom down

Gravity

Want: Inside Llewyn Davis OR Spring Breakers

 

Gravity is going the visual categories just because it was unlike any film ever made.  It was a visual thrill-ride.  However, I preferred the dream-like quality that was presented in Inside Llewyn Davis.  The cinematography perfectly fit the tone of the film.  I threw Spring Breakers in there just because it was a beautifully shot film.  The juxtaposition of the vibrant, colored lights in the dirty city was a sight to see.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

 

The Great Beauty The Great Beauty

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

 

Frozen

 

Duh!

Not ashamed at how much I love this movie!

Frozen

Want: The Wind Rises

 

As I previously stated, Frozen is just too popular to lose, which makes me sad.  I was hoping for Hayao Miyazaki’s farewell feature film to go out as an Oscar winner.  That would be a great story, but I have heard that The Wind Rises is just too slow paced.  Studio Ghibli has created such a high standard for films that the newer ones are constantly being compared to the older ones, which is a difficult position to be in.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

 

12 Years a Slave

 

A really amazing adaptation from a book from 1853.

12 Years a Slave

Want: Before Midnight

 

How can you beat the smart dialogue between Jesse and Celine?  Apparently with the incredible true life story of Solomon Northup.  Both are beautifully written films, but I am biased towards the Jesse and Celine trilogy (is there an official name for this trilogy?  The Before trilogy? I digress.)  The fact that these movies have been made over the span of almost 20 years is incredible.  Jesse and Celine are two of the most complex and interesting characters I have ever seen.  The three films in the series are entirely dialogue based and a writing Oscar would be a fitting reward for expert writing featured in the trilogy.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

 

Her

 

Will be so happy if this wins. Such a beautiful story that I could see actually happening in the near future. The story and the social commentary are perfection.

Her

 

Her was one of the most human films of the year, which is interesting considering that one of the characters is an Operating System.  Bringing the discussion back to dialogue, I think the conversations between Samantha and Theodore are brilliant.  It was a smart film that was based around the interactions of these two characters.  One of the reasons this film succeeds is because of the well written nature of the dialogue.

Best Achievement in Directing

 

Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

 

Could you pass me the dust pan?

Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

 

Another no-brainer.  Just look at the one shot opening scene!  This category has been locked up since Gravity came out.  Let’s move on!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

 

Jennifer Lawrence

 

Ma gurl J-Law!

Lupita Nyong’o

Want: Scarlett Johansson in Her

 

This category comes down to Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence.  Both of these performances were great, but for completely opposite reasons.  Lawrence gave an excellent, over-the-top performance and Nyong’o gave a quiet, subtle performance.  Typically, the Academy awards the showy-er performance, but because Lawrence won the Oscar last year, I think that Nyong’o takes this one home.

Also, can you get nominated for just using your voice to act?  Johansson as Samantha in Her was a nuanced character who never appeared onscreen.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

 

Jared Leto Jared Leto

Want: Barkhad Abdi

 

This went the showy-er performance will win.  Leto plays a transgender individual and from everything I have heard does an excellent job of it, but the way that Abdi humanized the role of Muse, the Somali pirate, was nothing short of incredible.  It could have been easy for Abdi to play the role of the villain, but his character had more depth than that.  You saw a man who was driven to do terrible things because of circumstances.  The fact that I think this category is coming down to two inexperienced actors is great.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

 

Cate Blanchett

 

Cate Blanchett

 

When Blue Jasmine came out this race was over.  She perfectly portrays this social climbers fall from wealth.  On the surface, this is an over-the-top performance, but Jasmine (Blanchett) is just dramatic.  No one else stands a chance.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

 

Matthew McConaughey

Want: Leo

 

Poor Leo has been nominated so many times and never wins. I didn’t even see it but I feel bad for him because he is a really talented actor. Hang in there man, you’ll get your day!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Want: Chewetel Ejiofor, Oscar Issac, Tom Hanks, Joaquin Phoenix

 

I’m calling the upset.  You heard it here first.  I figure there is always one surprise win in the acting categories.  The consensus is that Matthew McConaughey will take this one, but there has been a lot of fan support for Leo.  I know that McConaughey’s performance ticks every box for an Oscar bait type of performance, but for some reason I don’t see him winning it tonight.  Besides, I don’t think that he was better than Ejiofor, Issac, Hanks or Phoenix.  Ejiofor was stoic and controlled as Solomon Northup.  He didn’t have many of the Oscar moments that people look for, but that’s simply because it wouldn’t have been in character.  Just great acting.  Issac’s face and voice were incredible.  He made an unlikable failing folksinger come alive.  The last 10 minutes of Captain Phillips was nothing short of amazing.  It wrecked me.  I could have seen Hanks winning an Oscar for that moment alone.  Finally, Phoenix has the camera stuck in his face for almost the entirety of the film Her and he pulls it off.  This was a year for great performances and I could see anyone in this category winning (except for my boy Christian Bale).

Best Motion Picture of the Year

 

American Hustle

Want: Her

 

I think the Academy is going to surprise us again this year.

12 Years a Slave

WantHer, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis

 

This was a great year for movies, but in the end I think that 12 Years a Slave will take home Best Picture.  Honestly, I would be happy with any of my wants winning Best Picture.  I am disappointed that Inside Llewyn Davis was overlooked.  It was by far one of the best movies of the year and it got no love.  This race is coming down to 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and Gravity.   12 Years a Slave was powerful and realistic and is the most deserving to win the Oscar.  Gravity would be a fine choice as well because it was a revolutionary movie and unlike anything that has been made before.  There have been rumblings that American Hustle could win which makes little sense because it was a fun movie, but upon further examination it made little sense narratively.  We could have a little Argo situation on our hands. We will see.

 

Let’s hope I’m the 4 Time Champ after all of this! 🙂

Why Brandt is the Best Character in THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Recently(ish) we tried to make a podcast about The Big Lebowski and it came out awesome, but then stupid Audacity freaked out and I lost the whole thing. But we will do it again soon because it is worth talking about since it’s so awesome. Anyway, in the process we discussed our favorite characters from the film and so I would like to devote an entire blog post to the reasons why Brandt is my favorite Big Lebowski character.

Reason #1: His name is awesome. The name Brandt fits his character perfectly. It sounds kind of proper, but also a little weird and that is exactly what he is like in the movie.

Reason #2: He is played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who is such an incredible actor. I haven’t seen many of his films (which needs to change soon) but out of the few that I have seen he is just great. In Capote he absolutely nails it. His performance is spot on. The Master is another film that showcases his incredible acting. And what I love about watching Lancaster Dodd is thinking back to Brandt and how totally and completely different those two characters are. Brandt is younger and skinner. He is quirky and timid, whereas Lancaster is strong and speaks with confidence (yes his character is much more complicated than this, but on the surface he appears this way). He is so versatile! Next on my list: Magnolia

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Reason #3: He is so awkward and funny. Although he does not have the best lines in the film (that probably goes to Walter), all of his lines are, in fact, awesome.

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 Reason #4: This is our concern Dude.

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We’re all very fond of him.

-M

Senior Thesis

Hey guys! (because we have so many followers) I have been working on my senior thesis all semester and the presentations are next weekend, so I have thesis on the brain. I wanted to talk a little bit about my research and also give you a little sample of my work. I’m not going to post the entire thing on the blog because it’s way too long and still in progress, but I will describe it.

I am writing about the Coen Brothers because they are awesome… and Jon and I clearly like them… But in all seriousness, I really do respect them as directors and have been inspired by their one-of-a-kind films. I am looking at three of their movies in particular, Miller’s Crossing, The Man Who Wasn’t There, and Burn After Reading. I chose these films because they all have a definable genre and a common theme of mistaken identity. In my research, I am exploring the relationship between this theme and each different genre.

To give you a little taste of my paper, here is the longer abstract that goes to all the professors before the presentations so they can become familiar with the topics and come up with questions.

“You got the wrong guy. I’m the Dude, man.” The Coen Brothers’ Use of Mistaken Identity in Their Genre Films

The Coen Brothers are academy award winning directors, known for their unique filmmaking style. They seem to be obsessed with the theme of mistaken identity, as it appears in a majority of their films.  One might think that the Coens overuse this theme in a way that detracts from their filmmaking. However, I believe that it speaks to their style as filmmakers. While the theme is prevalent in their filmmaking, it gives important insights into the way the Coen Brothers create their movies.

Film is so different from other art forms because there is no direct relationship between the artist and the work (Wollen 468). Since so many people collaborate in the filmmaking process, it is very difficult to name one person as the sole author of a film.  Max Hermann argues that the Coen Brothers should be considered auteurs because of the extent of control they have over their films. They direct, produce, and edit their own movies.

Another unique feature of their filmmaking style is the way they play with genre conventions. Several of their films do not fit into any particular film genre. The theme of mistaken identity appears in the few films that do have a definable genre, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Burn After Reading, and Miller’s Crossing.  While the iconography leads to the definition of genre, it is not enough to stop here. A major component of genre is the emotional response it is trying to elicit. One way to determine this response is through the genre’s use of theme. While the Coen Brothers use the theme of mistaken identity across three distinct genres, each film takes a different approach to the execution of this theme. Using a formalistic and thematic approach to analyze these films, I investigated how the theme appears in each film and how it fits in each genre. I have found that Miller’s Crossing uses the theme as a way to understand the main character, The Man Who Wasn’t There uses it to display fate and justice and  Burn After Reading uses it for shock, confusion and paranoia. The way the theme is used in each of these films is determined by the genre.

This is how I feel about presenting:

brad-pitt-in-burn-after-reading[1]

-M

Martha Marcy May Marlene

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I was speaking with one of my professors and telling him about the screenplay I am currently working on for another class. He suggested I watch Martha Marcy May Marlene for some inspiration for my own writing. My story has a young girl who is also suffering from paranoia and some type of mental disorder. So I told Jon about it and he had seen it on demand. So this is the movie we decided to watch.

All I knew going into it was that it was about a girl who escapes a cult. That was definitely enough to spark my interest. So how do I feel about this film? It was weird, but I liked it. I usually tend to like movies that are “weird.” I really like Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Martha. She was really good in this movie. She was believable as a shaken up, paranoid cult escapee. Also the leader of the cult, Patrick, was played by John Hawkes. He was awesome. I really liked him in Me and You and Everyone We Know and I was equally pleased with his performance in Martha Marcy (some impossible to remember combination of “M” names).

When Jon and I talked about this movie after we watched it, we were both putting it up against The Master, just because of the cult aspect. We both saw many similarities between Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) and Martha, who both leave a cult. Even though they both escape, something from their experience sticks with them. For Freddie, he isn’t as emotionally scared, but at the end he reenacts a test done on him with a girl he is sleeping with. For Martha, the paranoia she experiences after her escape drives her to madness. At the end her older sister, Lucy, and Lucy’s fiancé Ted, are bringing her to a mental institution, but it is left ambiguous.

I wasn’t sure if I liked the ending at first, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I was left unsatisfied and I felt it ended very abruptly. However, I liked how it was done. Right before they leave for the treatment facility, Martha goes swimming and she sees a man sitting on a rock across the lake. It seems that he is from the cult, but that Martha is hallucinating. But when they start driving, the same man (you are lead to believe) walks in front of the car. He then gets in a car behind them and Martha looks back as the drive away. Cut to black. Is he real? Because Ted can see him since he stopped the car. But it’s still unclear if he is the same man from the rock, or even from the cult. I like that you can interpret the ending as you please. I was going to make a prediction, but I kind of like thinking that he was Martha’s vision and real at the same time, in some impossible way.

The other thing I thought about with the abrupt ending was something my brother talked to me about. He said that he likes movies that don’t really have a beginning and end, but that feel like you are getting just a chunk of someone’s story. So it doesn’t have to resolve because it’s just a little piece of the character’s ongoing life. I like that and I feel like this film does that. We just saw what the director chose for us to see, even though there wasn’t a real resolution because Martha’s story isn’t over.

-M M M M M

Symmetry and Balance: A Look at Cosmopolis

I have wanted to see this movie ever since I saw the trailer.  It reminded me of futuristic American Psycho.  Plus, I am a sucker for any movie featuring Robert Pattinson a dystopian future setting.  After watching it, I was unsure what to make of it.  Comsopolis is rife with symbolism and social commentary.  Rather than try my hand at wrapping my head around what this movie says about the 2008 economic crash, I want to talk about another aspect of the movie that stuck out to me (and slighty touch on director David Cronnberg’s reoccuring theme of body horror. Fun!)

This was an extremely abstract and difficult movie to follow at times and you will most likely not understand what I am talking about because my writing is borderline incoherent the movie’s plot is subtle and convoluted.  After some time reflecting on this movie, one word continued to return to my head:  “asymmetry”.  Throughout the movie there were themes of symmetry.  Eric Packer (Pattinson) is a billionaire asset manager.  His life is perfect.  He has money, power and a new wife.  He, and the world around him as he knows it, is in a state of equilibrium, however; during the movie events occurs that throw Packer’s life into imbalance.  For starters, a faulty invested (the first he has ever done) has cost billions of dollars.  Perhaps this speaks to his frailty as a person but this failure propels his life into disproportion.

Marriage is considered to be a balance between two people and Packer’s newlywed wife (Sarah Gaddon) is beginning to distant herself from him and considering a divorce (for reasons that are never made clear).  Over the course of the movie Packer cheats on his wife twice (with a possible implied third time).  In my opinion, this is completely reactionary. Packer’s wife will not “put out” so he is compelled to seek out other women, but they do not bring stability to his life.

Packer is obsessive about his physical health.  He desires his body to be in pique condition, internally and externally, so he receives daily bodily examination from his own personal doctor that are extremely comprehensive.  This includes ultrasounds on his heart and prostate examines.  Today, when he is getting his prostate checked, his doctor informs his that his prostate is asymmetrical.

Packer’s apartment is a modern masterpiece (though never appears onscreen).  It is large enough to warrant an elevator and he is wealthy enough to determine that he requires two.  One elevator travels at ¼ normal elevator speed and plays classical music.  The other travels at normal speed and plays Packer’s favorite artist, Sufi rapper Ibrahim Hamadou.  This rapper has died today.  His elevator is forever tainted.  How can he fully enjoy riding in his elevator when Ibrahim is dead?  Like a set of scales with only one functioning side; now Packer’s apartment has now fallen victim to asymmetry.

Packer begins to internalize this asymmetry and it has external results.  He cannot live in disequilibrium.  From the beginning of the movie he has desired to get his hair cut.  Towards the end of the movie, he finally gets his haircut, but halfway through he decides it’s time to go.  “I’ll come back and get it finished later.” Packer explains, but the audience knows that this is not the case.  One side of his hair is a patchy and teeming with bald spots.  His outward appearance reflects the asymmetry that his life now represents.  In the final act of the movie he shoots his left hand.  His body is permanently imbalanced.  One fully functioning hand.  One forever crippled from a bullet.

A teacher once told me that when people (or students) are in a state of disequilibrium is when learning occurs.  This is the reason for the ambiguous ending.  Did Packer learn from his day of disequilibrium? Will he change and accept this asymmetry in his life? Or is he too rigid to change his way of thinking and will allow himself to be killed? Interesting, thought provoking movie.  I supposed I’ll Alan Moore this ending and blatantly rip off the ending to chapter 5 of the Watchmen.

“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

– William Blake. “The Tyger”.  (Not that William Blake)

– j