Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: All in the Family Edition - Twins


When I think about Twins in Movies, I instantly go, in my mind, to two places: one light, one dark.


Of course, there's this:


A funny movie from the late 1980s that took me over as a kid in Ivan Reitman's Twins (1988).

Then, of course, there's this:


"Come play with us Danny. Forever and ever and ever and ever....", which is perhaps the creepiest shit I've ever seen. The film, of course, is Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining (1980).

Alas, I have used one of these already and will use the other one. No Repeats is the one rule I gave myself this year as part of Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks.

I'm covering some bases today. Made-up identical twin, conjoined twin, brother-sister twin, maybe even a bonus pick that takes the latter a creepy step further.

Here are my picks:

Adaptation
Dir. Spike Jonze, 2002


Tasked with adapting a non-fiction book by New Yorker writer Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) conjured up an identical twin brother, Donald (Nicolas Cage) to provide the missing pieces in bringing the history of life and flowers and an orchid poacher all together into a worthwhile screenplay. Make no mistake. This is one of the smartest movies I've ever seen. It is just beautiful, clever, heartbreaking, fun, sad, awesome....


Stuck on You
Dir. Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly, 2003


In this lost gem from The Farrelly Brothers, Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play Bob and Walt Tenor, conjoined twins who run a burger joint in Martha's Vineyard. When Walt decides to pursue his dream of being a Hollywood actor, a reluctant Bob is forced to tag along. Not only is this a funny, and unbelievably nice, comedy. It is also a really sharp satire of the Hollywood life. Oddly enough, Meryl Streep is in this on as well, playing herself, in one of the most delightfully awkward movie scenes I can recall. And Seymour Cassel's small role as an aging "suit" is priceless. 

The Skeleton Twins
Dir. Craig Johnson, 2014


I only watched this for the first time the other day, and I just had to include it given this week's theme. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play estranged twin siblings brought together by their shared hitting of the bottom. To see these great comedic actors truly dig into dramatic roles is nothing short of amazing. Hader, especially, as the tortured, gay struggling actor is seriously one of the best performances of last year. So glad I finally watched this movie. It is a perfect mix of comedy and drama. 

The "How are We Related?" Bonus Pick

Incendies
Dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2010


I am working my way through the feature films of French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, and I have to say the dude is good. Incendies is a masterfully made saga of family secrets that I really loved watching, despite the fact that there is just a bit too much going on and then, in its last act, it asks the audience to believe (or not believe) just a tad too much. At the center is the journey of a pair of twins, brother and sister, into the past of their recently deceased mother upon her request. Worth-watching, weird, will be with me forever. 

19 comments:

  1. I picked Stuck on You, too...hmmm...sounds like a great title for the sequel. Wait. I take that back, so don't blame me if someone actually makes it.

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    1. Haha! It's a good one. No need for a sequel though. For sure.

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  2. I love The Skeleton Twins! Stuck On You was actually pretty funny, I'm glad to see it here.

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    1. Sweet! And, yes, Stuck on You is very funny. I always thought it looked so stupid, then I saw it and was pleasantly surprised.

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  3. Kevin, we matched up twice this week! That's awesome. Like you, I also watched The Skeleton Twins for the first time this week to research the theme.
    Good call with Stuck on You too. Pretty underrated actually.

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  4. Great picks! Adaptation is so so great; Meryl Streep is so great at playing high. I really want to see The Skeleton Twins, I've heard so much great stuff about it. Never had any desire to see Stuck On You, though. Both Damon and Kinnear annoyed me to no end in the trailers.

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    1. Thanks, man! She really is. Definitely see The Skeleton Twins. It's as good as they say. I love Damon and Kinnear separately and together. It's really fun. Give it a chance!

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  5. I've meant to catch up with Stuck on You for ages and with it showing up on a couple lists today I think that will finally spur me on to getting to it. Likewise The Skeleton Twins is on my watchlist but haven't seen it yet. I've seen Incendies referenced but never really knew much about it, I'll have to add it to my list.

    Words fail me about how much I hated Adaptation but it fits the theme perfectly.

    I had a hard time narrowing down to three, twins is such a prevalent theme throughout film, so I plucked one each from a different genre and decade and came up with these three:

    Big Business (1988)-Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin play two sets of twins, one born into wealth the other to a poor farm family in a town the moneyed couple are passing through. Complications set in when one of each of the pairs are unknowingly switched at birth. Years later things come to a head when they all converge on the Plaza Hotel at the same time. Silly bit of fluff that rests almost entirely on the talents of its two leading ladies but they do a great job of making each twin a distinct personality.

    The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)-French musical co-starring real life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac as twin sisters Delphine and Solange who live in the small town of Rochefort but dream about traveling to Paris and finding romance. A singing and dance duo, Gene Kelly and George Chakiris blow into town and they find they don't have to leave home to find love. Charming and light as the air. Sadly Francoise Dorleac was killed in a car crash before this opened.

    Among the Living (1941)-Sharp, hard to categorize film has noirish tendencies as well as elements of old style horror with Albert Dekker excellent in the dual roles of very different twin brothers. An insane young man breaks free and creates havoc in a small town for which his identical twin, who thinks he died years before, is being blamed and pursued. Also in the cast are Susan Hayward on her way up and the ill-fated Frances Farmer most definitely on the downward slide. This was her second to last picture before descending into a decades long hell of mental illness and involuntary confinement.

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    1. Oh, Joel. You hate Adaptation!? Take the dagger out. Please. Lol.

      Stuck on You is a lot of fun with plenty of laughs. And The Skeleton Twins is a big surprise in its performances. Incendies is one that I just saw a couple weeks ago, and I literally can't get it out of my head. It takes a couple strange turns that I'm not sure actually work, but it is such an experience.

      I have never heard of Big Business, but it sounds fun. And The Young Girls of Rochefort is on my watchlist. Among the Living sounds really interesting.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Oh I love them all,especially The Skeleton Twins---I love Bill Hader there. Also, I love twins in Incendies and also The Shining (How could I miss them?!). Amazing picks!

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    1. Nice! Bill Hader really impressed me there as well. Thanks!

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  7. OMG!!!! I completely forgot about Stuck on You!!!

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  8. Stuck on you seems to be better than i thought it would be so i should give it a try. I have not seen Adaptation either because I do find Nicholas Cage annoying. The Skeleton twins I have never heard about-sounds like all are great choices.

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    1. Yes. Give Stuck on You a try. Really a surprising sleeper of a comedy. I love Nic Cage. He has always worked for me even when he's doing stupid movies. Adaptation is one of his best roles. He totally transforms into two characters. The Skeleton Twins came out last year. Really a good little film with surprising dramatic turns from two great comedians.

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  9. Awesome to see Skeleton Twins here, one of my favorites from last year. Hader was sensational

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    1. Thanks, Sati! He really really was.

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  10. I've seen all except for your bonus pick.
    Quite like Stuck on You too.

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