Dir: George Clooney, with Julianne Moore and Matt Damon

A very different film from Happy End, despite the common theme of intra-family killing. It was brightly coloured, expressive and satirical, with plenty of blood and not a few laughs. Despite my enjoyment while watching it, I don’t think it was as good as Happy End.

It starts off like the Truman Show and ends like Titus Andronicus. A family is subjected to a violent break-in; at first I thought this was “punishment” for the little boy playing with the new neighbours, who are black. But it’s not that: it’s an everyday case of spousicide and trying to collect on the insurance. (The insurance investigator scene was brilliant.) So far, so Coen brothers, who scripted it.

But what about the black family next door? Their dignity in the face of horrific besiegement comes from a completely different film, and it jars awkwardly here. You can see it as satirical that racists terrorise a pleasant, law-abiding black family while the murderous white family next door enacts a bloodbath, but the two scenarios just do not gel in this film.


About aides mémoires

This is a chronological list of things I have seen, places I have visited, and thoughts that have wandered through the space between my ears. A reading group of one; an art appreciation society limited by my preferences and prejudices; opera criticism by one who knows nothing about the subject.
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