hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
The Unthanks thing I wanted to go to was sold out, so we looked at what was on at the cinema instead, and after thinking there was nothing Andrew spotted something called Going in Style, about three old guys who rob a bank.

Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin play three friends who worked together at the same factory and thus all find out at the same time that their pensions have been stopped. The company is in debt and using their pension funds to pay off their debts.

Michael Caine's character had just been in the bank (to ask about the foreclosure letters he was getting and the direct debit that stopped going into his account) when he witnessed it being robbed. He's impressed at how quickly and smoothly the thing is carried off, and the robbers don't get caught. This is what gives him the idea.

It's a joy to watch these three actors, their characters established easily and quickly in relation to their families in two cases (and the third gets a love interest as the movie goes along) and even more importantly in relation to each other. They've been friends for decades, one lives across the road from the apartment the other two share, and there's something really touching about the love they display for each other (like Morgan Freeman tucking a blanket around a sleeping Alan Arkin, making sure his feet get covered), something so unusual to see men do in real life or in the movies.

And the motives behind their crime are certainly ones most people would be sympathetic to: they're stealing from the bank that's sending their pension money elsewhere, and intend to give to charity anything that is more than they expected to receive. When he's trying to convince his friends to join his crazy plan, Michael Caine says
These banks practically destroyed this country. They crushed a lot of people's dreams, and nothing ever happened to them. We three old guys, we hit a bank. We get away with it, we retire in dignity. Worst comes to the worst, we get caught, we get a bed, three meals a day, and better health care than we got now.
It's funny too, of course: the scene where they're the worst shoplifters in the world had me in fits of giggles with its physical comedy and sheer absurdity. But a lot of the humor is a little more complex than that,

Much is made too of society's tendency to underestimate its older people. Their alibis depend on old men being doddery, indistinguishable from one another if they're wearing the same hat, or likely to be in the loo for a long time. Yet we the audience underestimate them too, laughing at them doing things we expect only younger people to do, like smoke a joint and then ride in a car with their heads out the window, or shout at each other and the TV about The Bachelorette which man the woman should choose.

Or, of course, like robbing banks. We think that's a young person's game too so it's delicious to watch the juxtapositions: they have to exercise to be able to pretend to be the kind of young spry people who rob banks, but they can also disappear into a crowd on a bus because they look so harmless and unmemorable..

Like any heist movie part of the fun is watching the plan come together, and then inevitably not go quite as planned. And like any heist movie it's not exactly unpredictable, but it was incredibly enjoyable and on the bus ride home Andrew and I agreed it was just what we'd needed today.

One note on the audio description, though: Michael Caine's granddaughter plays softball and twice the bloody audio track told me she was bowling when she was definitely pitching! It was so weird! Definitely jarring. I had a whispered rant at Andrew the first time this happened. I know it's a British recording but dammit, as somebody who can pitch but couldn't bowl I am quite certain they are not equivalent things!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 12:05 am (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
Sorry about the Unthanks - one of my cousin's partner's music projects is on hold while a bandmate plays with the Unthanks on their present tour.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
It was *very* good for the kind of thing it is -- and had quite a remarkable cast. As well as the three Holly mentions, there's also Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Serafinowicz, and Ann-Margret.
(Though I should point out that it's not a Bechdel pass -- it's a film about the relationships between old men, and about a particular type of masculinity, and there are very few women in it)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
Oh, absolutely agreed.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 07:33 am (UTC)
miss_s_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
Still, Holly makes it sound tempting

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
Yep. It's a genuinely good film. Not life-changingly great, but it lifted a large part of my depression yesterday.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 02:55 pm (UTC)
lorigami: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lorigami
yes. I like the analysis of it. Normally, I would really never think to watch it, but now I may look for it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 08:41 am (UTC)
bethanthepurple: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bethanthepurple
I really want to see this now!

When a film is blatently homosocial, I think things get more complex than the Bechdel test. As long as women-as-pretty-hatstands are largely avoided, then I'm fine.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 09:16 am (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
All of this!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 12:29 am (UTC)
cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
From: [personal profile] cathugger
To be honest, I've never been that into movies, but I'm going to HAVE to see this one after reading that quote (annnd everything else you've written about it).

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 09:51 am (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
This makes me want to take fanf to see it - and also recommend it to my father.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theandrewhickey
It's *very* much a film that both Holly and I will be recommending to our own fathers...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-23 08:06 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Elderly smiling white woman captioned "When I was your age I had to walk ten miles in the snow to get stoned & have sex" (old fogey)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
This sounds like a sweet movie, and it reminds me of something I saw with three great, old character actors: George Burns, Art Carney, & Lee Strassberg.

Ah ha! your movie was a remake. Both are called GOING IN STYLE

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-24 11:36 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Frankly, the new casting sounds better: I have a soft squishy spot for Alan Arkin.

I fell in love with his puzzled Soviet captain in THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! (1966) and it's been a wild ride. That movie was part of a mid-60s trend: huge casts, wild random running in circles, with high levels of absurdist comedy. Terry Thomas often appeared, but not in that one.

My favorite 70s Alan Arkin is THE IN-LAWS. He's the father of the groom, and maybe a secret CIA agent, duelling with the Peter Falk at his straight-man-est.


hollymath: (Default)

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