Lena Dunham’s new television show Girls lit a fire underneath the internet that has yet to be quelled. It’s a bit strange how the whole phenomenon happened, at least for me—and I feel that I have the right to make this particular review more me-centric since this tendency towards self-presentation has been the nature of much of the praise and criticism that surrounds the show. I was sitting in a Double Tree hotel room, lovingly procured for me by my mother who had just been confronted by the full wrath of my thesis induced panic attack, trying to get a handle on my work and my irrational despair, when I stumbled across an article on Girls. Having attended a screening of Dunham’s film Tiny Furniture while visiting a friend in New York, I decided to check it out.I watched the trailer and was suddenly filled with an overwhelming sense of connection and well-being. I am not alone! My struggles are understood! Yes my white, upper-middleclass, twenty-something female angst stems from a place of privilege and elite education, but does this fact or even my acknowledgement of this fact make my pain any less real or valid?
Girls’ answer to this question is yes and no.
The Hunger Games movie is taking some shit right now in the reviews for tragically misguided readings of the text. Disclaimer: I have read all the books and loved them deeply, so I do not know how to approach this movie from the perspective of someone who has not yet succumb. Not my problem, READ THEM! Yes the camera was too shaky, yes the costumes were sub par and YES we obvi needed more grinding-on Peta-in-a-cave-for-soup action, but there were so many other excellent aspects of this movie that far outstrip any such trivial difficulties.
The Artist is a film (and I use the term “film” deliberately) about the Hollywood of our collective fantasies, the ideal Hollywood, the dream factory—a place that does not and never has existed, but that, nonetheless, we all recognize. The Artist is simultaneously tragic and hopeful, clever and sincere, exaggerated and understated, deadly serious and delightfully goofy. It is filmmaking pared down to its essential elements, arriving at its loftiest peaks. The Artist stands out among its Oscar rivals as a reminder of why people love going to the movies. Good cinema moves us to laugh and cry in unison with other audience members—strangers, except for in those brief moments—reacting at a visceral level to the drama unfolding on screen.