KILLING US SOFTLY, SHAMEFULLY
Killing Them Softly is the new film by New Zealand-born, Australian director, Andrew Dominik. It stars Brad Pitt who plays Jackie, a smooth hit man who oversees the killing of a trio of small-time mobsters who have robbed an illegal poker game. One of the targets, a dog thief and wannabe heroin dealer, is played by Australian Actor, Ben Mendelsohn. The film has variously been hailed as “menacing”, ” casually pessimistic” , “smart, nasty and gripping”.
Rachel Ward and her husband, Bryan Brown went to see it. Read on:
Andrew Dominik seems like a nice guy.
Despite the absence of females, I’m a huge fan of his films Chopper and The Assassination of Jesse James. He’s almost as handsome as Brad Pitt who, he admits, he is close to. Other cool guys flock to him. Nick Cave composes his music, Luke Davis writes a review of his new film, as if it’s a hit of pure gold in his veins.
Ben Mendelsohn, a notoriously reticent interviewee, suddenly finds his voice when it comes to lauding Dominik. He gets invited to Cannes and to banter with demi-god Brad in press conferences.
The word ‘genius’ gets used around Dominik. So Killing Them Softly is not a film I’m going to miss.
I can always tell when my hubby isn’t enjoying or is bored by a movie. He doesn’t toss and turn and throw his Malteesers around, he goes quiet, so quiet sometimes I think he’s asleep (which he often is) and, after a good nap, he’ll wake pleasantly rested and hungry for his pan fried barramundi.
Last Friday night he went quiet.
Steely quiet, which means he’s battening down the hatches. I can almost feel the guns of defence sliding into place. They’ll be no sleeping through this one. He’s alert to every vile invective, every false character, every tired genre gimmick, every slick advertising ploy masquerading as art.
We’ve come out with friends and I can only image the guns blazing at dinner and the blood on the tablecloth if there are differing opinions amongst us.
I am merely bored by yet another tedious gangster movie that thinks it has something new to say that we didn’t get in the first five minutes, (yes the irony of Obama’s messages of HOPE to his desensitised, alienated, “couldn’t give a fuck” countrymen. Got it.) and loathing the characters and wondering in how many films Brad can wear long side levers and chew on matchsticks before the game is up.
Nothing worth spoiling the pan-fried barramundi for.
Surprisingly, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly has gone deeper with Bryan.
He gets up quietly. There’s no bluster, no head shaking, no proffered opinions as we leave the cinema. He walks the pavement quickly, his head down, his mouth buttoned. Like a man ashamed.
And that, as it unravels over a subdued dinner, is what he is. Ashamed and saddened by the way men speak of women.
“I would hate”, he said with uncommon anguish, “for my son (19yrs old) to have to sit through that movie with his girlfriend and think that is the way men speak and think about women.”
Of course Dominik will protest that that is his “art”, to show how men – base, desensitised, traumatised, uneducated, drug and drink addled men – speak and think of women.
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