We talk about 12 years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street and more! Have a listen.
Great to have you back! Even if I don’t always agree with you (i.e. championing “The Butler”, which in my eyes isn’t a good movie – the Civil Rights Movement deserves a better film), I like your passionate and thoughtful discussion.
I agree about “The Butler” – it was a collage of “Greatest Hits of the Civil Rights Movement” that felt too episodic and more interested in putting the characters into different specific points in history than actually telling a story about the characters. Every single character had too little screen time in the movie and took a backseat to the “hisotry recap”.
Winfrey, Whitaker, Oyelowo and Marsden were great though. Most of the others distracted more than anything. It felt more like “oh, look, there’s this and that actor” in stead of “look, there’s a character”.
Great as always you guys!! Thank you so much for continuing these podcasts. I enjoy them so much. Sasha, please don’t find another career. You are great in this one!!
I thought that The Wolf of Wall Street was the best movie of 2013, and I am so glad to hear you guys talk about how it was for the audience to figure out for themselves how to view Jordan Belfort. At the moment he punched his wife, I had completely lost all respect for him. Not that I really had any before, but up to that point, some of his behavior was juvenile. I don’t think that stealing from those who were unfortunate to fall for his scams is “not that bad a thing” either, it’s just that the movie portrays that as frivolous behavior by the frat-boy type. I also think though that if you are willing to believe that you can make a crapload of money from investing in penny stocks and so forth, then you should also be smart enough to believe that you could lose it just as easily.
I really loved the scenes of debauchery, especially the hookers on the plane that was basically an orgy. That was ridiculous (in a funny “haha” way). I think one of my favorite moments in the movie was where Jordan’s father Max (played brilliantly by Rob Reiner) was furious about how much money they spent on a “fucking diner”. “You SPENT $26,000 on fucking SIDES???!!!” The appropriate answer to that question is “HELL YES we did!”
To be fair to Sasha and Ryan, I feel like I’m the one most guilty of continuing to beat The Butler drum though I know they’re positive on it as well. The truth is, the movie isn’t exactly my cup of tea but I’m sort of judging it through my mom’s eyes and trying to see it how older AMPAS voters might. It’s an easy target because it is melodramatic and melodrama is a largely discredited drama in this day and age. Even back in Sirk’s era, his stuff was dismissed as hankie twisting chick flicks. Not to say that Lee Daniels is Douglas Sirk, but I do think a movie that exists to operate on your emotions is easily tossed aside.
In a lot of ways, The Butler is similar to The Help. I hated The Help, but the difference is that The Butler is a black story that feels like it’s being told entirely without regard to a white audience. That’s kind of fascinating to me, a white person. Does the Civil Rights Movement deserve a sharper film? Sure, but I think there’s a ton of value and interest in one that is more soapy. It puts a face on 70 years of human experience that I can read about in books but probably never really understand and it does it in terms of the people who were most impacted by that human experience.
In a movie nerd sense, 12 Years a Slave is more easily embraceable and defendable of the 2013 movies that feature primarily black people, but I still think The Butler is more current and vital.
Good point, Craig.
I did LOL so badly with Michael snoring on tape! Your podcasts aren’t just great buy hilarious!
Haha. I fear there are many listeners who know exactly how Michael feels. I hope not too many though!
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