I've made it known in the past that, gore-loving devotions aside, I'm really a big softie and often find myself inclined towards the aggressively maudlin tearjerkers out there - I couldn't tell you how many times in my life I've watched the Bette Midler two-fer of Beaches and Stella and cried my damned fool's eyes out each and every single time. What can I say, I'm a mass of contradictions. I celebrate skewered eyeballs one second and the next I break down like a three-year old whose lost their binky the second Jenny-girl gets married while Bette stands outside the Tavern on the Green in the rain clutching her umbrella and giving that "I did right" smile.... "I just gotta see her face, ya gotta let me see her face!" Ugh! I'm welling up all over again.
Anyway, I watched Evening last night, and man the reviews were right - it's pretty damned bad. Vanessa Redgrave appears to be daring me to hate her, flitting around in her nightgown after a goddamned moth and babbling, and the editing... ugh, the editing is really the main culprit-o-awfulness here, seeming to likewise flit here and there from scene to scene with no coherent reason.
But there is a lot of good acting to be had - Claire Danes is lovely and Patrick Wilson is easy on the eyes and Toni Collette is Toni Collette and therefore incapable of anything but my love.
And the real stand-out is Hugh Dancy, who's simply wonderful; there's a scene between he and Danes, right after he's drunkenly kissed Patrick Wilson where he's put rightly but heart-breakingly into his place by her, and he's so incredibly good within it that the movie, for a brief moment, lifts far above its own messiness to something horribly sad and true.
Anyway, from that scene on, even though the film never really recaptures that strength of purpose - though Meryl Streep's scene is precise and terrific - I was an enormous ball of hysterical sobs. The movie ended, and I still could not stop crying; I lay there for about ten full minutes making this obscene braying sound. I finally had to will myself to stop, suddenly afraid the neighbors could hear it echoing through the walls and the police would be called or something.
It felt good, though; it's been a long time since a movie pawed at my tear-ducts so cruelly, and I'm, as I said, a sap who likes that sorta thing (and, thankfully, the boyfriend is outta town, or else I might be looking for a place to stay right now). It's really not too different from the vicarious thrill that being scared while watching a movie gives you - all we really want, when it comes down to it, is for a movie to grab us by the emotional balls and yank, right?
So there. I said it. I cried like a baby watching Evening. I am not a heartless violence-worshipping cretin. At least, I'm not just a heartless violence-worshipping cretin. Layers, see? I have layers.