Since obtaining a doctorate is far too time consuming and entirely self-serving, I have to go through the back logs a bit to provide you with something hopefully entertaining. So, in order to earn my keep, I figured I’d provide you with some valuable information. Valuable for whom, you may ask? Stop asking questions! All I do now is read, research, and write all day, so the chance to do any of those things on a topic that isn’t psychology is simply thrilling for me. Deal with it.
I think today I will provide pseudo-valuable information in the form of a warning. Below are 3 of the most depressing movies I have ever seen. I’m not exactly suggesting that you not see them…well, actually, I suppose I am, except for The Machinist. Definitely make yourself watch that. Think of it this way – if Rotten Tomatoes were to have the critics rating, the audience rating, and then an additional third rating system where you could rank how much you wanted to kill yourself after watching the movie, I’m giving you the latter.
Apparently the main character is an alter ego of Charles Bukowski, so if the movie wasn’t drowned in a detrimental amount of whiskey and cigarettes, I might have felt lied to. It was true to its intended form, dragging the viewer through a ditch of self-deprecation and hangovers, just so you would feel like a successful Bukowski fan-girl. Matt Dillon, the main character named Hank Chinaski (ugh), is followed by a string of far too attractive women, each trying to have a relationship with him or at least to “fix” him, but he inevitably considers them too distracting and finds a reason to thwart each relationship in lieu of his writing. Which goes nowhere. There are many scenes of Dillon/Chinaski/Bukowski wallowing in self-pity whilst being cradled by a beautiful woman, only making him appear less attractive – something I didn’t even know was possible. The Good Doctor and I saw this on vacation a while ago, immediately felt like someone had hit our hearts with a barbed wire bottle of Jack Daniels, and burned in our eyeballs the image of Matt Dillon banging women he should have never been able to even share a room with. If you’re a Bukowski fan, go for it, but if you want to be in a good mood after, I’d give this one a complete miss.
Christian Bale, the most intense, talented and insane method actor (in my opinion), takes on an almost death-defying role that requires him to drop to an 80lb shadow of himself. Trevor Reznik (Bale) works in a factory by day, and by night exists in some purgatory between sleep and wakefulness brought on by his yearlong insomnia. His mental sanity and BMI decline at a similar rate, leading him to believe that he is (appropriately) losing his mind, and that he also may have murdered some folks along the way. It’s dark in every way – filter, cinematography, plot, dialogue, and intent. It ends without you knowing exactly what the reality of Reznik’s situation is, which, while giving the character and the movie itself more viability, also leaves you feeling like a depleted, morose sack of crap. I would suggest this as an absolute must-see, if not only to see Christian Bale actually go completely insane (that’s true method), but also to experience an otherworldly psychopathic thriller. Totally worth it, but you might want to take a walk or go get a drink with buddies afterwards, because it is dark as fuck.
August Osage County
Holy southern baby Jesus, this movie is depressing. The all-star cast was the pull for me – no surprise that I’ll see anything with Benedict Cumberbatch – but being a terrible former English major, I never read the book, and wasn’t sure what I was in for. Plot: A dysfunctional family comes back together in [bumblefuck southern town] to attend their father’s funeral, and secrets start pouring out slowly like mo-lasses. You learn pretty quickly that their father killed himself because he couldn’t take his wife’s pill-popping, alcoholic verbal abuse any longer. Never mind that his wife has cancer, because she’s a total bitch. Played by Meryl Streep, because she is amazing in everything, but she is so fucking mean in this movie that it’s just uncomfortable. She has three daughters, all with totally different dispositions, but who are nevertheless all cosmically doomed. The eldest daughter, Barbara – which is way fun to say scathingly in a southern accent – is a total bitch like her mother, but is seemingly the only one who ‘knows the truth’ and is trying to get her mom to kick the pills and live her final days honestly and cancer-filled. Barbara and her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor – seriously how did they get this cast?!) are divorcing, but they only reveal this to their daughter in the middle of an already fun-filled weekend. The middle daughter, hilariously and sluttily played by Juliette Lewis, brings her fiancé to the funeral. Her fiancé canoodles with Bill & Barbara’s daughter at some point, which is gross, because she’s 16 and he’s 40, but it’s the south and honestly that is not the weirdest thing that happens. The ABSOLUTE WORST PART is this. The youngest daughter, Ivy (played by an adorably freckly Julianne Nicholson), is just so sweet the entire movie. She reunites with Little Charles (Cumberbatch), and the two reveal to the family that they’ve been in love for a long time and intend to get married. Everyone is against it, which is weird because it seems like the only silver lining in a shit storm of assholes. But you wanna know why? BECAUSE THEY’RE SIBLINGS AND NO ONE EVER TOLD THEM. I was watching this movie in the comfort of my own home, and at this point just screamed FUCK THIS, put the movie on pause, and left my house. This movie is just plain awful, because the only thing it tries to do is to get increasingly more depressing, perhaps more so for anyone who has tried to escape the south and knows that the south will never let them OH GOD WHY ME. WHY.
So, there you have it. Three films that you’ve either already seen or probably never heard of, but that’s my job – to inform you belatedly. Wishing you all a great weekend with happier movies. This is Kitty, signing out.