Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 1129 - The One I Love

The One I Love

I'm gonna lead with the trailer.  Feel free to give this a watch before you start reading, because this (completely spoiler-free) trailer is what got me to buy the movie even before seeing it.

Now that you've got that out of your way, let me say that the movie is wonderfully strange and surreal, yet also a touch simplistic.  However, I think I'll be pondering the ending over the next few days.

The story is about Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elizabeth Moss) spending the weekend at a vacation home on the advice of their therapist.  And then things get wonky.

Mark Duplass is a man who wears many (figurative) hats.  As an actor, I love him in The League.  As a writer/director he's responsible for such little gems as Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home.  And, of course, Elizabeth Moss is from Mad Men.  Together, they make a couple that you have to believe in (you do), and one that you're willing to watch for an hour and a half (they are).  Having a chemistry that is so real, helps ground the movie as it displays some more "fantastical" elements.

Because of the limited setting, the movie reminds me of a stage production, and could probably be easily adapted that way.  But director Charlie McDowell never lets the story feel claustrophobic.  And he's helped considerably by the music.  Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans have created a score that heightens the tension and accentuates some of the weird humor.

Obviously, as you can tell, this is a movie that has a lot of secrets.  I'm not going to spoil them here,  but any smart moviegoer will be able to pick up on some of the easier ones (such as why these two are in therapy in the first place).  But it's the larger ones that make the movie as compelling as it is.

This wasn't the undiscovered masterpiece I was hoping for, but it was a nifty little flick that went into enough strange place that I'm happy I own it.

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