arf_she_said: (Default)
5 minutes: "Concrete" is so obviously code for "cocaine."

10 minutes: This kid actor is a bit much, they really need to get him off and put Ruth Wilson on.

15 minutes: Oh Christ not Andrew Scott.

22 minutes: Wait, he's actually talking about concrete.

27 minutes: These calls are coming pretty fast but I can't really see how they can maintain the tension. In Phonebooth at least a dude was shooting at Colin Farrell.

34 minutes: he's gonna have to crash or something to give this an actual endpoint.

40 minutes: Look at him chugging cough medicine. that's how it'll happen.


53 minutes: Scott's loyalty and ordinariness is really quite sweet.

62 minutes: has he been driving the speed limit this whole time????

65 minutes: there is literally no other substance on earth more appropriate to this man's personality than concrete. He's if like Mr Stevens out of Remains of the Day got to keep all of Sonny Wortzik's promises about taking care of everything.

70 minutes: I think....the dude...just has...a cold...

76 minutes: I'm just so happy about the way this thing with Scott and Hardy ended I want to die.

83 minutes: how is it possible that Tom Hardy listening to his kid's voicemail about a football game is the climax of the movie and it works.

Camerawork too floaty and dependent on reflections, fuzzy lights. Editing too excitable. But a marvel of structure and screenwriting and performance and what the DoP misses in lighting the world he makes up for in his subtle and non-subtle lighting of Hardy's face. The play between minor victories and major roadblocks is impressive and involving. Viewer expectations are managed perfectly. And it is so rare for stories to rely wholly on the tensions of decency and competence; for a plot to hinge on a person's personality and identity and not be a revenge or crusade flick. For that reason alone it's worth a look.
arf_she_said: (Default)
Don't think I can create any kind of thesis on this one and tbh it's fading kinda fast so some brief thoughts:

- Commits the unforgivable sin of being unable to photograph the gorgeous and talented Sterling K Brown with enough light and clarity to allow us to see the bottom half of his face. If The Wire can photograph dark-skinned, bearded men in that ugly-as-hell institutional lighting so can you. This was something I just cannot get past. I love this actor and wanted to see him ACT.

- Wonderful performances across the board but I particularly enjoyed watching John Travolta and David Schwimmer. Travolta's physicality is delightful and funny and pathetic and Schwimmer's arc held the true heart of the story for me, because I think it fumbled its other raison d'etres. Schwimmer's doleful eyes and gradually dawning horror were my favourite things to see on screen. Cuba was also stunningly pathetic and hateful and his vocal work was superb.

- I found the photographs of Simpson and Goldman that appeared at the end of the final episode in bad taste. These are the dead bodies that the this sensationalistic multi-million-dollar earner for FX is built on, so in that sense it is appropriate, but I don't think the series really cared too much about them.

- In fact I think this show was very confused about what it wanted to be. Realism, melodrama, naturalism, romance, thriller. The one thing it wasn't was nerdy or procedural, which might have saved it and pulled it away from sensationalism. It's not illuminating any fundamental truths about the OJ case, the justice system, or the media. I really, really wanted to feel Clarke and Darden's relationship in my soul but it developed so herky-jerky I didn't know where they were with each other from scene to scene. I don't feel like it carried Cochrane's story strongly enough to have his great moral victory -- an indictment of the racist LA Police -- counterpoint his simultaneous great moral loss -- the travesty of OJ's acquittal.

- Somehow, because she is an amazing actress, Paulson managed to find new ways to convey every time the trauma and surprise of the rug being pulled from under her. But still, the effort put into using dramatic irony to beat this woman back to the ground every time she staggered onto her feet felt sadistic and pointless.

- So of course these things happened, like her naked photos being published. But if part of the story is about the evil media and all the suckers watching -- if I were one of those thousands of viewers glued to the screen for months on end, speculating endlessly about her hair, and her mistakes, and the prosecution's mistakes -- if part of it is about problematising watching and what that does to the watchers, what does it mean then to watch this show? If I get to empathise with Clarke and her sob story and difficulties -- doesn't that let me off the hook? Aren't I now just the enlightened viewer of Quality Television? Great. So what's on next?


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