The Midnights Discuss: The Cinematic Mishmash of Fever Week

OLLA Cover Or, how Jim Jarmusch cured Justin’s fever through the power of love.

(Hint: Teal is Betsy).

So, Bubbles tells me that the past week has been crazy. I was out of town… and you were sick!  Are you feeling better?  Yes, mostly! I’m still coughing, but I’m probably at about 90% right now, which is a HUGE improvement. What did you do while you were sick all week and I was gone? Laid on the couch and coughed. Mostly, I watched movies on cable. Oooh lala! Can you remember every movie you watched while you were sick? I had a pretty wicked fever for a couple of days, so I’ll do my best, but may not be 100% accurate.Totally understandable. K, here goes:

  • Drop Dead Gorgeous
  • The Desolation of Smaug 
  • Broken City
  • Only Lovers Left Alive – 3 times, cuz the disc was in the player and I really love it. Uhhhhhm, what else? Oh yeah!
  • Runner Runner
  • A Field in England
  • …and some Denzel Washington movie about terrorism with Annette Bening in it.

Anything I’m missing?  Mmmm….

  • The Drop?  Does that count? Yeah. We saw that on Sunday when I was starting to get sick.

Oh – and that movie about the zombie hand? Oh yeah!

  • Idle Hands.

I think that mostly covers it. It felt like more, but maybe cuz I watched Only Lovers Left Alive so much. That movie is so rad.  So if you were to select Oscar Winners from this group, which movie would receive each of the big awards?

TildaO fun question!  Well, Only Lovers would get Best Picture and Best Director for sure. Tilda Swinton easily runs away with Best Actress for it too. Duh. 🙂 She’s so great in that.  Best Tilda Swinton moment in Only Lovers hmmm. Oh! Well, this is minutiae, but there’s this part where Anton Yelchin asks here if she’s like a beer or anything while they’re at this bar, and she just says, “No, nothing.”  Why does that moment stick out to you?  The way she says it, it’s like the most finite thing anyone has ever said, but without any aggression attached. She gives this amazing little smile afterward. It’s so perfect. That little moment kind of encapsulates her character in the film nicely.  She’s just so lovely through the whole movie… so focused and observant, so appreciative of the world. And her hair is great. Best hair ever.

Adam and EveWe talked a lot about that movie when it first came out, but do you appreciate it differently now after watching it a few times? What is it about this film that’s so transcendent and unique?  There are a lot of things I like about it that I like about all of Jarmusch’s films. The soundtrack and score are excellent, It’s really funny in a dark, understated way, and it’s full of these little breadcrumbs of arcane knowledge. But this film stands out because of the mood/pacing, and the performances. And because it’s a beautiful fucking love story that doesn’t bother with typical bullshit movie pageantry about love. Yes! It’s the best love story! Yeah. It’s actually romantic. I love the idea that these two characters can’t live without each other, but spend years living across the world from one another. That unremarkable piece of setup is such a window into who they are – but also, into what time feels like when you are pretty much going to live forever. Yes. It’s about this bond that goes so far below what we are able to see. But Swinton and Hiddleston do an amazing job of making us feel it. We know it’s there, like a giant iceberg below the surface. You can only imagine how far down it goes. Or something. Yes! So good.

Tom HardySo, Only Lovers is pretty much king shit of fuck mountain.  Any other award winners? 

Tom Hardy probably scoops Best Actor for The Drop. That guy is incredible. It’s hard to describe his performance without giving too much of the story away, but he’s perfect in it. Also, that puppy earned the award for “Most Adorable”  Easily. Also, Most Hearts Stolen”, “Best Bone Chewing”  Most Heartbreaking Whining. Biggest Paws. Wettest Nose. Biggest Dramatic Paws.  That movie had great pacing too. Yeah, it’s a real sleeper. I hope people go see it.


Best supporting actor/actress?  Best screenplay?  Or, do you want to just make up awards for the others? 

Best Supporting Actor goes to Jeffrey Wright in Only Lovers. Anton Yelchin was so great in that too, though! And while we’re at it, let’s give Mia Wasikowska the BSA nod. Only Lovers gets all the awards!  Pretty lopsided I know, but realize that most of the other stuff I watched was weird bullshit that happened to be on one of the 9 HBO channels we get. I feel bad for Tom Hiddleston, though. He’s so great too!  Yeah, I felt like I had to give one to someone else. I love Tom Hardy! But Hiddleston is spot on in that film. I support your decisions. Thanks.

Amy Adams 2So let’s just make up awards for the others. Drop Dead Gorgeous?

Best comedy featuring someone I went to high school with? Nah, that’s kinda lame.  Best costume design? Those United States-themed hats were amazing.  Mmm… something to do with how it has Amy Adams in it. Best dark comedy featuring Amy Adams? Oooh yes. Best Black Comedy Set In Minnesota Featuring Amy Adams. Yep.  

BarrelsDesolation of Smaug

I got it:

Best Dwarves.  I don’t think any of the other movies had better dwarves.  I’d have to go back and check before I made the final decision. That’s fair.

How about, “Most Corpulent Piece of Padded, Disappointing Trash That I Hope Peter Jackson is Really Ashamed of Forever”  Perfect.

Broken City


How about Broken City?

Best Accents. Oh yeah?  Russell Crowe loves to do that New Yorker accent. And Catherine Zeta Jones is Scottish, so, you know. Very impressive. How does Marky Mark do? Does he just let his Boston hang out?  Marky just doing Marky.  



Seth GreenIdle Hands?  Best 90’s Ensemble Horror Comedy? Most Creative Deaths?

Or Best Practical Special Effects, since The Desolation of Smaug is like 99% CGI.  I like Idle Hands. It’s lots of fun. It plays with that super fun “my dead best friend talks to me and nobody can see him (them) but me” bit that American Werewolf in London did. I love that gag. Plus, Seth Green! In his 90’s glory, With a bottle in his head.  I love that little fella.

Runner RunnerDoes Runner Runner win anything?

I was pretty fucked up when I watched it, and it’s a standard Deal with the Devil parable (with a happy Hollywood ending, of course!), so I kept imagining Ben Affleck as Satan and Justin Timberlake as Doctor Faustus. That’s amazing!  It probably made it better.  So – Best Version of Goethe’s Faust?  Or, in this case, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, cuz I had Marlowe on my mind. From Only Lovers, of course?  So yeah, something like that. Best Adaptation or something. Even though it’s pretty lousy.  

FieldA Field In England
sounded pretty cool.

Yeah! I liked it kind of a lot!  It’s really light on narrative and has a small cast, so it was really intense when I was sick. It was sort of like being in the story. It’s all about magic and alchemy and drugs and shit, right?  Yeah. I think so. It’s hard to tell for sure, but there is some spooky shit going on there. Dark Ages type witchery. It’s great! It kind of reminded me of Valhalla Rising, but with less fighting and more nebulous, spooky stuff. Sounds awesome.  So maybe… Best Pleasant Surprise? Yeah. It was better than I expected.


Killer JoeOh! I just remember I also watched Killer Joe!

Oh man – that movie is GREAT. And such a creepfest. I might amend Best Supporting Actress to Gina Gershon in that. I’ve never seen her so good! She’s perfect in that film. Yeah you just HATE her.  Matthew Mc-C is amazing too, of course  Emile Hirsch is perfectly suited to his scuzzy shiftiness. Even that guy who played Lowell on Wings is good! Well cast movie. Awesome creepiness and trashyness. William Friedkin is awesome at adapting weird plays to film. I hope he does it til he retires. So maybe this one actually wins Best Adaptation. Or – Best Casting.   


Annette BeningSo I figured out what that Denzel movie probably was… The Siege?

Yes!  Such a generic title. Totally forgettable. I didn’t watch the whole thing, so I can’t really judge it too harshly. Did you know that movie was nominated for a Razzie? Bruce Willis for Worst Actor. Oh sorry, not nominated. He WON.  O wow! Really? Well, I feel justified in my judgements now. Want to dole out any awards? Annette Benning was always dressed really inappropriately.  Ha! how so?  She was playing some manner of NSA spook, so she’d be like interrogating a bombing suspect in a cozy looking sweater and some comfy looking jeans. Like, I can picture her with a cup of hot tea right now. Curled up with a good book. Maybe doing a commercial for life insurance?  Or International Delights.


FCWWell… I was busy at work in Atlanta all week, so the only movie I caught was about 20 minutes of A Fish Called Wanda which I have never seen in full… so the only thing I took away from it was that it was probably funny if you were in on the jokes… and Kevin Kline seemed like a scoundrel. I remember it being funny, but it’s been a long time.  I’m sure it is! I was pretty tired.  And you watched Teenage, but you’re gonna write about that maybe. Yup – after I got home, I watched both Teenage (for the first time – so good, plan to write more about it…) and Crazy Stupid Love. (Not for the first time)


fightclubAnd didn’t we watch something together when you got back?

I think so?  Oh yeah – Fight Club. Oh yeah! Which is great. My comment this time through was “I wish there were more of a place in this movie for girls.”  But that movie kicks ass.  I’m closer to lukewarm on it I think, but that’s more a problem with the source material than the film. Perhaps that’s a topic for another time though. Interesting… Yes, let’s tackle that on another chat.

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better, sweetie. Now get over here and watch a movie with me.

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