Contrary to its confusing and misleading title, The Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader is NOT a horror film.
Starting from scratch never tasted so good.
From the moment the screen fills with light, and we come face-to-face with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), his eyes are desolate while his voice is filled with love as he recites the poetically romantic words of Loretta’s letter to her husband of fifty years, Chris. Theodore works for BeautifullyHandwrittenLetters.com, a company established sometime in the near future where people are either too lazy or just mentally incapable of writing their own letters to their loved ones. The irony of her begins (as do so many other films) with someone else’s love story. The trials and tribulations of Theodore’s love story not only mirrors the love we share with others but also portrays our uncontrollable and inexplicable dependence or ‘love’ for technology. In that sense, her becomes part science fiction love story/part docudrama, with a message that is both a parable of the direction human behaviour is headed and a misunderstood, timeless love story for the ages. Either way, her is the most captivating and responsive film of the year, demanding attention with a grueling look at our ability to love and be loved.
One of the very fortunate aspects of the film form, aside from affective story-telling techniques, is the value of its aesthetic beauty. From A Good Year set in the Italian vineyards in 2006, to Leap Year set in the gorgeous greenery of Ireland in 2010, to this years ominous neon death-ground Only God Forgives, the location of a film becomes as much a character as the characters in the film themselves. Sadly, as infamous photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) so eloquently puts it, “beautiful things don’t ask for attention”, and Ben Stiller‘s newest directorial entry is a film that begs for a lot of attention and recognition while still looking good.