2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Monday, July 21, 2003


Here is a film designed to make you pay attention. It wants you to notice itself with its off-kilter premise and its handling of repulsive material and its numerous winking name-checks to Dario Argento. It wants you to notice director Lucky McKee, the improbably named guy making his relatively-big-name debut after codirecting a homegrown effort nobody saw called "All Cheerleaders Die". And most of all, it wants you to notice Angela Bettis, the actress playing the title character. I'll be damned if it doesn't work like a charm.

May is a young woman who works at a veterinary clinic and suffers from serious social anxiety. (How serious? She makes Barry Egan look like Barry White.) Her experiences growing up with a lazy eye has led to her prize the parts as well as the whole, and as the film begins she thinks she may have found the perfect guy. He's cute, he's mysterious, he's got gorgeous hands. And he says he "likes weird". Should be a match made in heaven, but then this is a horror film and not some crap with Meg Ryan. Things will end badly. It's exactly that expectation of dark happenings that makes the film hum like it does. For the first half, it appears that this may be another entry in the Lonely Misfit Struggling to Connect genre (a personal favorite genre, by the way). But there's weird undercurrents running through the proceedings, like May's evident glee at relating a sick story about a dog with a twisted bowel, that post the way for the uncompromising climax. Suffice to say I don't want to totally ruin everything, but what I said about parts? Let your mind wander.

"May" has balls in letting May ride the edge between sympathetic and off-putting, and that the character doesn't teeter off into the bowels of the latter is a credit to the outstanding performance by Ms. Bettis. With a face that resembles Holly Hunter re-imagined as a cadaver and a right eye that yearns to roll down and look at her nose, May isn't exactly the most attractive girl, but there's something oddly pretty about her anyway -- a certain hopeful air that often gets choked off in her social paralysis but will occasionally manifest in a smile or an eye's twinkle or a strangely poetic turn of phrase. Bettis takes all this and constructs a captivating portrait of a sad girl who wants to relate to others but doesn't know how. (Her makeout session with Adam, her "perfect" guy, after viewing his student film has a hypnotic inevitability about it.) She's supported by a sparse but effective supporting cast; Jeremy Sisto scores as Adam, who finds himself intrigued but not willing to follow May's darker impulses, while Anna Faris steals scenes as a lesbian coworker with whom May has an ill-fated flirtation. (At this point, I am now willing to watch Anna Faris in anything.) McKee's script, too, keeps things grounded by refusing to betray or shortchange these characters even when things turn grim.

To say that the bloody denoument is a given is to take nothing away from the film. But at the same time, I do have to register a slight complaint. As effective as the last minutes of the film are -- and effective they are indeed, with Bettis becoming stone-cold scary and McKee shifting his direction into hyper-style mode (it's here that his hand feels most Argento-esque) -- it's still a comedown from the previous material. The problem is that McKee's script is so impressive and empathetic in detailing May's clumsy attempts to make friends that the gore almost feels somewhat obligatory. But this criticism should be taken for what it is -- the nitpicking and kvetching of a genre freak who's seen one too many disappointments lately. On the inside, I'm jumping for joy. "May", for all its problems, is not nearly a disappointment -- it's a triumph.