Monday, February 20, 2006

Whit Stillman's Metropolitan --my favorite movie of all time!!

16 years and I am still fucking relavant. has a cover story on my fave director and fave film (what not Heathers?) Most of you are not prepared for the rich tapestry of my interests so I give you what you want to hear.

Of course I love A few Good Men, but Whit Stillman is a genius.

Whit Stillman's Metropolitan - A movie for the conservative in all of us. By Austin Kelley:

"Hollywood has been awfully hard on the rich. They come off as snobbish villains (Titanic) or snobbish fools (Gosford Park). At least, that's what the writer and director Whit Stillman might have us believe. In 1990 he set out to redeem the image of the bourgeoisie with his first film, Metropolitan. This month Criterion released it on DVD, complete with a critical essay by Luc Sante, reminding us of the romantic purity of debutantes in a world of new money and tabloid culture. "

"But in the 16 years since the movie's release, Stillman's defense of wealth has had a side effect, slightly unsettling to some of his fans: He has become known as one of the few Hollywood directors that conservatives love."

Not actually the case further into the review the truth comes out :

Perhaps the most conservative thing about Metropolitan is that it is not about class at all. The characters don't really venture out of their little group, and their money is treated more like a prop than a powerful subject. Their affluence hangs on them awkwardly like their gowns and tuxes. The panic about the "UHB" values seems, in the end, to be a form of teen angst more than a description of social change. And the reports of the death of the upper classes are greatly exaggerated. The net wealth of the richest Americans has actually grown at a much greater rate since the film appeared. I'm not sure if Metropolitan was good publicity for the aristocracy, but if you are concerned about the haute bourgeoisie, don't worry. They're doing fine."

Do yourself a favor and rent it, our borrow my VHS!!!

"In Metropolitan Nick rhapsodizes, "So many things which were better in the past have been abandoned for supposed convenience." He rails against his contemporaries. "Our generation is probably the worst since the Protestant Reformation." It was Chris Eigeman's first film role, and he is the most dynamic presence, seething with the snobbish charm that he would bring to the rest of Stillman's films (Barcelona and Last Days of Disco). He makes Stillman's retro-formal language sound perfectly reasonable, but a sly smile undermines the sincerity. "He's the scoundrel. I should have thrashed him," he announces while lying on a couch nursing a bloody nose.

This is the kind of comic irony that Stillman thrives on, and it belies simple conservative readings. The tuxedo-clad Tom calmly professes, "I'm a committed socialist, but not a Marxist. I favor the socialist model developed by the 19th-century social critic Fourier."(I am not a committed Fourierist, but damn!) Sally, scowling in her pink dress and pearls, proclaims, "I can't stand snobbery or snobbish behavior of any kind." All of the speechifying seems so removed from the reality of these characters' lives, not to mention our own, that it comes off as playacting. The film's peculiar sexual politics (an archetypal cad is the villain; girls can actually be "ruined") seem similarly anachronistic. When Tom wins his virtuous heroine through an act of chivalry involving a toy gun, the scene plays out like a Marx Brothers set piece.


RottenTomatoes- 91% rating

This guy gives a lengthy plot discussion, but doesn't love the movie. He also describes the DVD!!

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