The Third Marriage is a movie about how we fall in love with our friends. Martin is an old grumpy gay guy left bankrupt by the death of his husband. Tamara is an African migrant who needs to marry for a visa. A deal is done and they shack up to prove the validity of their relationship. With humour and warmth, a friendship forms.
I loved Tamara. She blows into his life like a whirlwind. A boundary-crossing, nosey, grabby, messy, presumptuous, demanding, high-maintence ball of life you can’t help but love. She makes a beautiful mess of his life and her own. Heartwarming.
For A Happy Life is about love overcoming the insurmountable problem of one person not being Pakistani. An Algerian lass is in love with a Pakistani boy, whose parents are determined to marry him off to his cousin. The movie follows the unbelievable shitshow fallout of them struggling to be together.
Alone At My Wedding is about a young Roma woman who tries to get into being a mail order bride. She’s not very good at it, coz she’s lazy, messy and can’t cook. But you’re routing for her. Why should tidy bitches get all the breaks?
The main character manages to be sympathic despite in many ways not being that likeable. Her secret is that she’s sending money back home for her infant daughter, who she got knocked up with way too young. It’s pretty irreconcilable with her new life.
A surprisingly funny look at power differentials between two people using each other to fulfil a fantasy.
I’d heard some of the criticism of Girl, that it focused too much on the trans body and placed too much emphasis on medical transition. Then I saw it, and boy howdy! Does it ever. I mean, wow. Yeah, not difficult to see why folks had problem with it.
This is very much a trans story told through a cis lens. There’s even an element of gawking in much of the camera work, and it does feel very objectifying, which works against its central drive. I mean, you see her genitalia so many times, you see her put on or take off her tuck tape so many times, you see her morning glory. A lot of the shots having the feeling of the cis gaze looking in on the trans experience.
And it’s almost every third scene. You can almost count off every scene in this order: transition scene, ballet scene, family scene, transition scene, ballet scene, family scene. Just same content round and round.
I feel the director really did intend to develop a three-dimensional trans girl as the main character but where are her friends? This teenage trans lassie doesn’t know a single other queer person. In a major city. Doesn’t have a single conversation with a queer person online or engage with any community space. Who ever heard of that? This is so a cis idea about the life of the one trans person you know.
And I genuinely do feel the director came to this movie with good intentions, but its portrayal of the trans experience is that it is isolating, lonely and sad. In many ways, it’s a big step backward from the more diverse storytelling about a range of experience we’ve seen in recent years.
I’m not saying don’t go see it, because it is a worthwhile film in many ways, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself cringing at some of the shots.
Angel is the story of a Belgian professional cyclist hiring a Senegalese sex worker for the night. He is the most unbearable self-pitying, braggart, blowhart, drug-addled, misogynistic, abusive, utter cunt. He is as likeable as Joffrey. I genuinely spent the movie hoping he’d die soon. For all his privilege, wealth, fame and talent, he is the architect of all his own problems, and has the gall to moan about them and blame everyone but himself.
He spends the evening talking shite in her ear, then turns on her after some more coke and smack. Weirdly the film doesn’t seem to realise he’s just the worst cunt and the title Angel is actually for him, his nickname. Indeed, the lassie seems to actually be taken in by his shite, which it is difficult for me to imagine any woman, especially a sex worker, not seeing through this immediately.
Keep Going is a cowboy movie of a kind. Two partners cross the Kyrgyzstan steppe on horseback. An angry young man and his estranged mother, struggling to find common ground across this trying journey. In another way it is a love story, of a man letting go of years of resentment and allowing himself to love his mother.