Seven Psychopaths

14 Jan

The first stupid opinion I have in the year of the stupidest opinions is that I think that Seven Psychopaths was the film of two-naught-twelve. In the same year that brought about films from fanboy-pantie-wetters Sir Paul Thomas of Anderson, the larger than life caricature Q. Tarantino, and the man who bleeds argyle, Wes Anderson, it was Martin McDonagh’s sophomore effort that takes the noble distinction of being, not just my favorite film of the year, but the most noble distinction of being the first thing reviewed on this surely-soon-to-be-abandoned blog. To Begin:

I have no idea why this film isn’t floating around on more best of the year lists, or why in god’s name it wasn’t nominated for best original screenplay. I don’t get it. McDonagh’s dialogue gets all the praise, but I’m such a fan of his story-within-a-story technique. Most original scripts these days suffer from gold-leaf-thin story stretched and drug out over 120 pages, where the only emotion being evoked is the anticipation of the phrase FADE TO BLACK, but Marty McDonagh has stories within his scripts that could be Oscar nominated scripts on their own. Do audiences not like being blown away with quality? Would they rather pay for half-baked ideas adapted from properties with the biggest built-in market? It’s stupid.

This script was brilliant, and after you get past the alcoholic writer, all of the characters are unique and original. And no, I take that back, even the alcoholic writer is an interesting take on an alcoholic writer. Colin Farrell’s Marty is walking cliché, alcoholic Irish writer, even Paul Haggis would be afraid to bring that up in Texas, Walker story pitch meeting, but McDonagh puts the realistic spin of everyone seeing his problem but him. Then he let’s him live with it. He just go right on functioning with that glaring flaw everyone is so kind to point out to him. Marty stubbornness and denial make him act like a psychopath, like the pacifist psychopath he has such trouble with. Great stuff.

Then there’s the great performances from Walken and the always just shy of becoming a star Sam Rockwell. These two are certified psychopaths, but this not this film trope psychopaths, where psychopath means that you can just have someone be crazy for no reason at all. These guys are real life fully fleshed out psychopaths. Walken’s Hans is just a badass, and his psycho tendencies is more defined by his lack of action than traditional psychotic-wild-card behavior. The wild-card carrying psychopath is the always great vastly-under-appreciated Sam Rockwell. And while he sure seems like a traditional psychopath, he really gets fleshed out when his own not-so-thought-out plans have some serious consequences he wasn’t really hoping would happen. He has sweet and almost naive motives for his actions, he just doesn’t really weigh the full consequences of his actions.  His way of getting what he wants is just so focused on himself that I’m sure he’d fall perfectly under the DSM iv definition of psychopath.

One last thing here, if the Academy is going snub this film and the great performances in favor of nominating every actor in films with ensemble casts, why the eff don’t they just have an award for best ensemble cast? Let The Master battle The Sliver Lining Playbook, and leave spots open for these guys, or even better, nominate this film for best ensemble cast, too. I don’t get it, In Bruges is great and ignored. This film is too. I hope that McDonagh isn’t driven back to the theater where people appreciate him, and I hope it doesn’t take another four years for the next McDonagh film to come out. Fingers Crossed.

-C. Charles Gilmore

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