HIT ME WITH HIS BEST SHOT.
The most important thing is the castle: Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson…
Warden: Antonio Campos
I told Tom, my driver, to find another homeless camp that would need my generosity if my cell phone rang. It was my old, old friend Vera Charles who asked me if I’d heard the news. Apparently a maniac in a luxury car attacked a photo shoot for the new Gucci men’s collection. When the models were ruthlessly attacked this morning, they practiced on an outdoor stage where they were socially isolated. Whoever this man was, he was involved with garbage bags and bottles of toxic waste on well-paid, fashionable, young men who all shouted at once in an unreadable language. It is clear that mental health care has failed in some poor creatures. Vera was very worried that I was loose in the center of town with a dangerous lunatic and asked me to go back to a safe place on the west side or at least the other side of Fairfax. After a short consultation with Tom I decided to stop looking for homeless people who had to change. The risks were too great.
So I called the local Gucci store on Rodeo Drive to find out where the campaign could be shot this afternoon and they told me they were at the Santa Monica pier, so I told Tom to go back to the beach so I could help them if they needed. I know how sweet their little temper can be. We stopped in the parking lot and I elegantly stepped out of my new Prius limousine and climbed gently into my aquamarine blue Jimmy Choo, down the pedestrian bridge and past some arcades on the promenade where the shooting took place, which were easy to find with a few dozen Klieg lights and clothes racks.
This poor guy escaped in his underwear.
As I took a modest step toward the light, the young people began to scream and spread in all directions. Of course I turned around to see what could frighten them so much behind me, but all I could see was a flock of seagulls clapping their hands and wriggling in a rather strange symmetry with the male models. I decided that the youngsters were clearly a little shocked by the sudden appearance of a star of my size among them, and I tapped on the shoulder of one of them when he came by to say a few words of encouragement and prevent him from crossing the protective barrier in the Bay of Santa Monica. He whispered something incomprehensible and went back to the Ferris wheel. I thought maybe this wasn’t the right time for a simple conversation.
I went back to the limousine and looked at some sad rags on the pendants, which had clearly been removed by accident and had a brilliant idea. Tom and I rolled a pair of coat-hooks around in the limo, and I threw a disastrous collection of torn clothes into a handy garbage can and replaced them with what was left in the backseat of the limo thanks to my charitable donations. These were in much better condition and when they returned to Gucci after so many months of quarantine, they could actually be sold to an audience thirsty for good fashion and luxurious materials. The Gucci’s didn’t notice. They were busy talking to a very nervous dummy who came halfway through the Ferris wheel before someone got hurt.
I booked a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a week so as not to disturb the movers. So I asked Tom to take Eva to the second bedroom and put her to bed while I book room service and decide how I want to have fun tonight. Netflix has continuously promoted a new film, The Devil, which was screened in several selected theatres last month and then released on the occasion of the general closure of the screening because of the Coronavirus, which has played such a role throughout his life. I like to keep up with the latest trends in cinema, so I decided to go by the clock with my Burgundian stand and a few bottles of the charming Merlot that the kitchen sent me. I knew little about this film, except that it was shot in Appalacia after World War II and was based on a novel I had never heard of. The junk seemed interesting with familiar names, so I got up again (free of Jimmy Choo) and took some flying lessons.
The Devil is still a multi-generational saga about social, personal and religious dysfunction in the Appalachian hinterland in the decades immediately following World War II. We start with Bill Russell (Bill Scarsgard), who served in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. While on patrol, he is confronted with the horrific Japanese war crime against a fellow officer and the emotional consequences of what happens when he follows him home to the United States. After his resignation, he stops for lunch at a restaurant in rural Ohio, while taking the bus back to West Virginia. Her eyes fall on waitress Charlotte (Hayley Bennett), and it’s love at first sight. First he has to go home, where he told his mother Emma (Christine Griffith) that he would not marry the daughter Helen (Mia Wasikowska) who his mother had chosen for him. Instead, he returns to Ohio with his waitress, and Helen marries Brother Roy’s charismatic and mad preacher (Harry Melling). Fast-forward a few years: Willard and Charlotte have Arvin’s son in Ohio, and Helen and Roy have Lenore’s daughter. The first tragedy happened to Helen and forced Emma, Lenora’s department, Helen, an orphan and everything else. A few years later, after a failure and religious mania in Ohio, Arvin finds himself without his parents and returns to his grandmother’s house. Arvin and Lenora continue to grow together as brothers and sisters of the steppe and become Tom Holland and Eliza Scanlen. Lenora is shy and loyal to her deceased mother until the new pastor (Robert Pattinson) takes over the local church and looks after her. Arvin’s suspicious, but tragedy strikes again. Release the corrupt Ohio sheriff (Sebastian Stan), his meaningless sister (Riley Keow) and her serial killer husband (Jason Clarke), and you have other lives, all taken over by Quentin Tarantino’s finals.
The devil is always less than the sum of his parts. The adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s novel (scenario by the brothers Antonio and Paulo Campos, directed by Antonio Campos) is solid, takes in a long and complex story that wanders through decades, generations and places and disintegrates into sagas of two and a quarter of an hour that never mingle, even if you jump through time. Pollock himself has never seen a storyteller who, I believe, reads passages from a book to connect events and themes. His prose is clear, and the story is interesting enough to make me look for a book the next time I go through Barnes and Noble.
It is also clear that through these three creators there is a fundamental understanding of the kind of people that inhabit the harsh Appalachian cries, and how they interact with each other, their religion, their sense of honor and duty, and how this is passed on from generation to generation. In many ways the devil reminds me of Robert Schenkkan’s play, The Kentucky Cycle, from the early 1990s, in which the same people and ideals were extracted to tell certain Greek myths, including the fate of members of the House of Atreus, such as Agamemnon and Clytamnestra. This work aims to reach these mythopoietic heights, but it is too much immersed in unfounded cruelty, so sometimes we are too busy saying Ihww to see deeper themes behind the surface. There are also aggravating moments and different series that can be shortened at a certain pace.
The cast, who is mainly against the police, is very good, although the British are not very strong in their Appalachian dialect. The people of the hills in southeastern West Virginia have a special sound that is not easy to learn and pick up, but if you’ve spent some time in the area, you recognize it when you hear it and you recognize it when it’s not quite right. The ensemble is distinguished by the presence of Sebastian Stan, the corrupt sheriff. We understand both the cheerful facade that catches voices and the darkness through which it behaves outside the public sphere. Bill Scarsgard, like Willard too pious and very damaged, sometimes bends over a bit. Robert Pattinson seems to like slimball more than heroes, and his supernatural appearance is very effective and helps us to hate him. Tom Holland, as the protagonist of most of the second half of the devil from the beginning, is the antithesis of his superheroic personality as an Arvin warrior. It is perfectly suited, but seems a bit uncomfortable in the dark roll. My other favorite was Harry Melling as a brilliant preacher; he’s come a long way since playing the overweight Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies.
Usually the visual appearance of the devil with his destroyed houses and dying towns is constantly visible. The shooting took place in Alabama and not in West Virginia, which doesn’t make the landscape quite right. The lush deciduous forests are right, but the landscape as a whole seems too flat for the steep mountain slopes and the screams it should have represented. The character of the inhabitants of this part of Appalachia is so much due to the unique geography of a region where places three miles apart can take a journey of sixty miles, that one feels a little cheated.
The devil always ends with a movie that stays with me. It is imperfect, but good outweighs evil. It’s not for everyone with its rather graphic depictions of the brutality of the various gangs, and the religious connotation can be unpleasant for someone. Since it’s on Netflix, it’s easy to find, and there are much worse ways to spend a few hours.
Several crucifixions. Spiders on your face. Plays wheelchair guitar. Incorrect use of the screwdriver. A graceful face in the mud. Bad pictures. Damn genitals. Luger’s symbolic pistol. The symbolic head of a dead animal. A symbolic hippie in a VW minivan.
To find out more about Mrs Norman Maine, read our introduction, visit her full catalogue and follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/missvickilester.
Mrs. Norman Maine, originally from Seattle Washington, a land of fog, coffee and flying salmon, was born as an adult, like Athena, from Andy’s mind at a difficult time in his life, shortly after moving to Alabama.