Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Picked Flick #93: I ♥ Huckabees

You got all that, right?

I know, I know, this movie came out, like, five minutes ago, but I ♥ Huckabees was the only movie of 2004 that I paid to see three times in a theater, and every time, I laughed like I was screaming. Every time, the triple-threat of Wahlberg, Hoffman, and Law proved that they deserved an Oscar category all their own for Flawless Comic Support Without Scenery-Hogging. Every time, the movie's sharp harpoons into the absurd fractiousness of the American "liberal" left hit all of their marks, even as the movie tipped all the sacred cows of big business, "Christian" hypocrisy, and star-studded realpolitik with equal aplomb. The movie is crazily deep with subtle touches, golden scenes, and brilliant sidebar performances. That dinner scene with Jean Smart and Richard Jenkins? The priceless walk-on from Talia Shire? Lily Tomlin, her desk strewn with notebooks titled "Coincidences" and "Galaxies" and "Fathers," refocusing her eyes every few seconds? Jon Brion's miraculous score, with the drunken calliope and the galloping rhythm? I ♥ed the whole thing, and I'm not seeing the love dissipating any time soon. (Click here for the full list of Nick's Picked Flicks.)

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Blogger tim r said...

Just picked this up on DVD to give it another try. I think my violent ambivalence is beginning to tip love-wards, just as you predicted it might. It just gives you so much to chew on!

PS. You mean Richard Jenkins, right? I do think that dinner scene is particularly fine, esp when Wahlberg starts insisting "I'm not a hero!"

6:45 PM, October 25, 2005  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i paid to see it three times too! I also ♥ Huckabees in a big big way.

richard jenkins. Maybe you were watching Martha Stewart as you typed this. She had the pudgy exercize guru on just this very day.

8:17 PM, October 25, 2005  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Cripes! Could I have made a more embarrassing faux-pas about one of my absolute favorite character actors? You two are very diplomatic copy-editors. ;)

That dinner sequence. "They could have used a little suburban sprawl in Sudan!" The way Jason Schwartzman tries to freeze up and do The Bag Thing when he gets angry. And I love that exchange I already quoted in the mosaic, where Jean Smart assures her daughter that they don't have to ask themselves any questions. "Jesus would never be mad at us if we've accepted him in our hearts!" "I hate to break it to you, honey, but yes he is, he most definitely is." Once I'm over my "But isn't it too early?" nerves, I bet this moves way up the list the next time I compile.

And yes, there are two more 2004 releases that are already ranked higher. Toodle-oo! ;)

9:00 PM, October 25, 2005  
Blogger Joe R. said...

I love this movie. And that dinner scene was indeed one of the very best parts. I'm still annoyed at the critical reception it got.

6:18 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger tim r said...

Yep. It's taken me 3 viewings, but can I join the club now? A few surviving cavils (eg the one-joke Watts character, and some of Schwartzman's smirkier line deliveries). But who cares? It must have helped not watching it this time in an audience of (mainly hostile) critics; anyway, it's just the business. There are people I know who still argue Jude Law's never been any good - I say watch him nail this part brilliantly and get back to me.

"Is it a crime, to look at Lange?"

"But what happened to the gazelles?"

A flick excellently picked!

7:30 PM, October 30, 2005  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

I agree with your cavils. People have really got to stop giving Watts parts that they expect her to elevate, though I do relish her way with "Fuckabees!" and her little mad-scene with "Look at me! Look at me! Am I pretty!" Otherwise, amid this ensemble, she tends to whinge.

But I'm so glad to have you on board. Consensus achieved! One world, one store, one ♥. (Apologies, goatdog.)

9:21 PM, October 30, 2005  

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