(^ My idea of ‘The Middle Ground’- It’s lonely out here…)
Recently I’ve been suffering from writers block. And I’ve been watching a lot of Woody Allen films. These two are some how connected, let me explain.
I’m not sure if I like Woody Allen films, but lately, I’ve been watching a hell of a lot. So far, I have really enjoyed Blue Jasmine when I watched it at the start of this year, his most recent film with Cate Blanchett, and I enjoyed Vicky, Christina, Barcelona (enough to make it my film of the month!)…but that’s been it.
It’s weird for me to be ambivalent about something. I usually love it or I hate it, I usually adore a director, or I really don’t like them. It’s rare for me to be in the middle ground. I’m not used to the middle ground. I am used to extremes. I don’t like it here.
So I guess I’ve just been confused about this whole Woody Allen thing. I haven’t been able to write because damn Woody Allen and his films have just left me stranded in the middle ground and I can’t write reviews about the middle ground. Nothing grows in the middle ground.
I’m writing about something either because I absolutely loved it, to the point where I can’t even think about another movie for a couple of days, or I write about something because I hated it and I want to warn the rest of you not to watch it. But damn, Woody Allen hasn’t really made me feel either!
First, I watched Match Point. A psychological thriller with one of my favorite actresses, Scarlett Johanson, I was really expecting to love it….but I didn’t! I mean, I watched it all the way through, and I didn’t hate it…but I didn’t really enjoy it either. I wouldn’t watch it again, that’s for sure. I was left cold and disappointed. I had to watch re-watch American Psycho just to make me feel better.
Then I watched Husbands and Wives. Just because it got a good review on Rotten Tomatoes- but I was really not impressed. I was bored and I found Woody Allen so unwatchable as an actor…he gave me the heebie-jeebies for lack of a better word…or maybe that’s the best word for him.
Now I’m not saying I completely dislike Mr Allen…if I did I wouldn’t have so much of a problem. At least I wouldn’t be in the middle ground. But after watching half of Husbands and Wives and giving up, I decided to watch Vicky Christina Barcelona, hoping that this time Scarlet would save the day.
Well the thing is, she didn’t need to. I really enjoyed that film, I thought it was engaging and I actually really enjoyed the voice over, story telling thing the film had going on. I loved Javier Bardem and his character (enough to make him actor of the month!), and just found the whole film to be really interesting and somehow relatable. It was even quite amusing at some points.
‘So what the hell is going on?’ I thought. ‘Have I finally found something I’m ambivalent about? Is this how normal people feel about films?’ I worried about this for days. I worried I lost myself, I worried I was becoming, god forbid, relaxed, laid back even. Then it hit me. I was obsessing about not obsessing over someone…and all was right in the world again. Even if that world still was the middle ground.
So anyway, this has been a strange, erratic post. I am still confused about Woody Allen but I will continue to watch more of his movies until I make a final verdict and move out of the dreaded middle ground. When I do, I’ll let you guys know. For now, I will continue to obsess about not obsessing, but hey, at least I managed to write something down!
Tell me in the comments about you’re favorite Woody Allen film (if you have one…)!
-P.S- At the start of this year, whilst my turbulent relationship with Woody Allen was quietly bubbling under the surface, I wrote a review for Blue Jasmine. Would anyone be interested in reading it?
(Funnily enough, this exact face he’s making expresses how I feel about Woody Allen films…haha.)