Monday, January 4, 2010
For Sadako: May (Plus, THE GIVEAWAY WINNER!!!!!)
This week, I close out Reader Request Month with a review for Sadako of Dibbly Fresh. After enjoying my take on Ginger Snaps, Sadako requested that I watch another "feministy horror film" and report back. Some heavy Googling conjured up a title that's been on my "to rent" list for a while now: May.
(By the way, May has a connection to one of my all-time favorite indies, Brick: Brick director Rian Johnson edited May, and the title character makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo appearance in Brick.)
Not sure if I'd term May a "feminist" film, exactly, but it's certainly female-centric, with a fascinating, fragile protagonist, some very recognizable supporting actors Before They Were Stars, and buckets and buckets o' goo.
Needless to say, I liked it!
Plotarooskie: Since childhood, May (Angela Bettis, winner of the Why Aren't You in More Movies? Award) has been cursed with a lazy eye, leading to outcast status and maximum social awkwardness. As a young woman, May works at an animal hospital by day and sews her own clothes by night, in a cavernous California abode with only her doll collection for company. However, when she befriends lunkhead mechanic Adam (Jeremy Sisto--more about him in a bit) and responds to the advances of purring coworker Polly (Anna Faris in her dark-haired Scary Movie days), May's life seems to be taking a turn for the . . . normal. But as May soon learns, people are fickle, and even a lazy-eyed misanthrope doesn't have to take it lying down.
UNPRO'S SIDEBAR RE: JEREMY SISTO
Here's my issue with the Sis. He's a fairly good actor. Pretty attractive. I'm sure he's a nice gentleman in real life, and the fact that he grew up in Chicago makes me want to like him more (I'm a sucker for a hometown boy made good).
That said . . . when I see anything, anything featuring Jeremy Sisto, all I can think of is Billy, his character from Six Feet Under. If you've never watched the show (which you absolutely should, because it's a television masterpiece and the finale alone will leave you crying for days), Billy is completely insane. Granted, he's a product of a very screwed-up family environment, plus he's bipolar, but the guy is also an unwashed obsessive douchebag who keeps going off his meds. Did I mention that he also wants to screw his sister? (I know, I know, I love Wasteland, but Lex is a self-aware teenager wracked with guilt about feelings he knows are inappropriate, whereas Billy's just . . . gross.) And I guess I could attribute it to Sisto's effective portrayal of a largely unsympathetic character (not easy to carry off), but . . . God, every time something bad happens to a Jeremy Sisto character, I can't help but yelling at the TV (or yelling in my head if I'm in a public movie theatre), "Haha, BILLY, you deserve it!"
WE NOW RETURN TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED REVIEW
So yeah, buckets of blood in this movie. Ginger Snaps has nothing on May. Also, reeeeeaaally cringe-inducing moments from a young woman who genuinely has no idea how to behave in an acceptable fashion. Finally, the film moves very slowly for the first forty-five minutes or so...but there's quite a payoff, so it's worth sticking around for. Also, I like my heroines bespectacled!
I'm still pondering the meaning of May. Did director Lucky McKee set out to make a darkly funny social commentary on the eventual crackup of lifelong outcasts, or a purely fun, female-driven slasher-fest? Hard to tell: May carries a bit of film-school-grad lack of focus. However, along with blood, there's also karma, schadenfreude, and even a little twisted empowerment.
Worth the rental.
And now (drumroll, please), the WINNER of the Reader Request Month Giveaway!
As you recall, anyone who suggested a topic (whether via email, Facebook, or comment) was eligible for a drawing to receive a cool prize from yours truly.
After a totally-random drawing of names by my roommate, the winner is...
Congratulations, Ana! Email me this week with your address so I can mail your prize!
And thanks to everyone who suggested a topic...I'll definitely do another RRM again soon.