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I feel nothing and you're an idiot", April 11, 2016
By Paul Allaer
This review is from: Demolition (Amazon Video)
"Demolition" brings the story of Davis Mitchell (played by Jake Gyllenhaal). As the movie opens, we see Davis, a successful investment banker, chatting in the car with his wife Julie, when out of nowhere the car is hit sideways. Julia dies in the accident, while Davis doesn't have as much as a scratch. At the hospital, Davis tries to buy peanut M&Ms from a vending machine, which eats his money. Davis tries to write to the vendor's customer department. Meanwhile, it's clear that mentally, Davis can't seem to process it all, and he starts withdrawing. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest film from Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée, who in just a few years has become an A list Hollywood director with films like Dallas Buyers Club (which won Matthew McConaughey the Best Actor Oscar) and Wild (which won Reece Witherspoon a Best Actress Oscar nomination). Here, Vallée examines the aftermath of an unexpected death and the unintended consequences on the survivor(s). Gyllenhaal, who has been on a hot streak recently with movies like Nightcrawler, Southpaw, and Everest, brings yet another excellent performance as the tormented Davis. Naomi Watts as the vendor customer representative seems to not age a day as the years go by, but the best supporting performance comes from young Judah Lewis as her 15 yr. old son (he previously was in Deliverance Creek), and surely we will see much more of him in the years to come. At one point, Davis and Chris are arguing about Chris' frequent use of the F word, to which Davis responds "I feel nothing, and you're an idiot". Don't let it be said that this movie sugarcoats anyone's feelings! Chris Cooper as Davis' father-in-law Phil, or as Davis puts it, F-I-L, ha!) is heavy-handed, almost to a fault. It takes a long time to feel emotionally invested in these characters, and even then it feels fleeting. Last but certainly not least, the movie features plenty of great music, including Heart's classic "Crazy On You" in a key scene, but even better is the use of the key instrumental part of My Morning Jacket's "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream (Pt. 2)" and later on Charles Aznavour's "La Boheme",
"Demolition" opened nationally this past weekend, and I couldn't wait to see it. The Sunday matinee screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great. I wasn't in the least surprised, as this movie is anything but uplifting. If you are in the mood for a heavy psychological drama or simply want to see Jake Gyllenhall's or Naomi Watts' latest performance, I'd suggest you check this out, be it in theaters, on Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.