Sometimes smart people do stupid things like convince themselves Smart People could be a good film. To be fair it could have been a good film. It’s got a strong cast and an interesting premise but potential doesn’t always pay off. Instead the film teeters back and forth between two ideas, never solidifying into one cohesive work. So instead of something smart and funny the film turns into a march of stereotypical characters in a series of awkward situations that fails to set a consistent tone.
Juno is a weirdo. Yes, the film’s protagonist is a bit of an oddball and stripper turned screenwriter Diablo Cody lays down some funky lingo but that’s not what I’m talking about. The film is a strange anomaly in the industry. It’s a comedy with liberal media sensibilities and conservative ideologies. “Say what? You mean that beautiful indie darling of that glorious year 2007 is actually a hideous propaganda piece written by a robot programmed at Fox News?” “That whole movie is about a one night stand anyway so it’s tawdry trash for all those evil atheists in the world.” But before we get into all that fun political stuff let us look at the merits of the film.
Sometimes you just know. Before I even hit play I knew this film was meant for me. What did I know about it? Barely a thing. My memory only reminded me that it was about two kids and it was minimalistic in style. Not much to go on. All I actually read on Treeless Mountain was a small bit in “The New York Times” over a year ago. But I knew then as I held the paper in my hands that this film would perfectly play into my psychosis and that I couldn’t help but love it. Yes, it sounds weird but sometimes you just know.
For those who skipped over the Three Colors: Blue and Three Colors: White reviews you probably could go back and read them first. Yet Krysztoz Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy is really three standalone films united around the three ideologies represented in the three colors of the French flag. There’s not one narrative spanned over three films but three narratives that seem unrelated. Or are they? Red explores the idea of fraternity, the idea of connections between people socially. So while the film clearly does follow the connection between two people there’s a sense that in some way whether we know it or not we all affect each other: sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst and sometimes with no impact at all.
When jammed between the wondrously cinematic juggernauts Red and Blue, Three Colors: White gets lost in the shuffle. Even among ‘90s Kieslowski films—of which there are only four—Three Colors: White gets glossed over. In some ways it simply can’t be helped. It doesn’t have the visual gravitas or heavy dramatics to duke it out with the films it bridges but that isn’t to say it’s somehow bad or lackluster, far from it. In fact, attentive viewers will find it has just as much nuance and complexity as the rest of the trilogy.