Lots of 80s and 90s thrillers are gonna slink across your mind while watching Joel Edgerton's The Gift (a pat of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, a dab of Alicia Silverstone biting her lip in The Crush) and he wouldn't want it any other way -- he's clearly as infatuated with those movies as I am, as all of us ought to be, and The Gift squeezes right in there in the middle of them with perfect ease. He wants to make you jump! He wants to please the Genre Gods.
And yet Edgerton's also aware of the twenty years that passed since that genre's heyday and the sidelong riffs upon it that have come since (think ye upon the soul-crushing bloodbaths of South Korean Revenge Cinema, and ye despair) and he's doing his own tinkering with conventions too. The Gift is as dark as sin and has every intention of leaving a most bitter aftertaste along with its brew. I've seen complaints about the last act but I'm having none of it -- if you don't feel bad after a Feel Bad Movie, if it doesn't churn up a sea of ugliness to toss you in, then what's the point? Questionable Morality and it's debasement is the reason for the season, folks! Feel bad! Feel bad... but have some fun doing it.
In related news Joel was at the beach this weekend,
and here are some pics of that (via):
I don't mind a feel bad movie, but I do mind an unnecessary suggestion of rape. Jason Bateman's comeuppance can't just be that he's a terrible person and everybody finally realizes it? Nope, we've got to have that insanely bad conclusion where Edgerton had the incredible foresight to wait for Rebecca Hall to pass out, probably rape her, and potentially get her pregnant on the only attempt...? So, so stupid and horrid.
"Jason Bateman's comeuppance can't just be that he's a terrible person and everybody finally realizes it?"
Well sure we could have had that, but that's incredibly boring. These movies operate like opera - TRAGEDY in all capital letters. I believe that Edgerton's character needed to do something huge and horrible in return that made us question loyalties one last time -- something that left nobody clean. The movie is about actions spiraling out of control into escalating immorality, feeding off itself unto everything's destroyed. And I really dug the uneasiness it boldly marched into, and the uncertainty of its outcome.
This post prompted a search from me and I hadn't seen these before...
Oh Adam, one only need click on our Joel Edgerton archive for such things! :)
Right here's a lot more of those underwear pictures.
God bless you, Jason.
I actually thought that ending was great not because there was any implication of rape but rather the suggestion, and Bateman, in his mind, knows that if their positions had been reversed, he would have raped Gordo's wife.
I loved the ending. I loved the pace of the whole thing. You want to cheer for someone and realize they are all so screwed up you really can't. I didn't realize JE had written and directed it until the end and then I was even more impressed.
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