Monday, November 2, 2015

Advantageous (2015)

I recently asked my good friend, Melissa, which movie she thinks more people should watch and she suggested the sci-fi drama, Advantageous.

Running Time: 90 (very beautiful and thoughtful) minutes

Directed by: Jennifer Phang

Staring: Jacqueline Kim
Samantha Kim
James Urbaniak

Plot: "In a near-future city where soaring opulence overshadows economic hardship, Gwen and her daughter Jules do all they can to hold on to their joy together, despite the instability surfacing in their world." - IMDB

How I discovered it:  Honestly, I had never heard of this movie until Melissa recommended it to me.  This really is really a shame because I think it is something that would touch a lot of people.  It certainly deserves more widespread recognition.   

My Memorable Moment: Gwen's young daughter has a breakdown in which she sobs that she should study harder, be a better person, be prettier and so on.  While it is not directly related to the plot, this scene is one of the most human moments in the whole work.  Who has not felt overwhelmed by all the things we need/want to change about ourselves?  Many of us work so hard just to get by day to day but resent ourselves for not being "better".

Where I watched it: Netflix Instant.  

Below are Melissa's thoughts on the film.  Also you here is a link to her fantastic blog.  

Melissa's Thoughts: For me, finding a movie to watch can be difficult. I don’t really enjoy violence or gore or horror, and I’ve noticed a growing trend in movies towards this hyper-realistic violence—throats getting slit, bones breaking with a reverberating crunch—along with a general public consensus that if you don’t sit and stoically watch these scenes, you are silly and childish, and you must prefer saccharine rom-coms or tepid Disney fare. When I was young, I would stoically watch The Ring (three times, actually) for fear of being the lame duck in my group of friends, but now that I’m 32, I approach my life with a healthy dose of ‘I don’t give a fuck.’ 

So I was thrilled to stumble upon a film that was not only atmospheric, but also feminist science fiction. Advantageous uses the techniques of film to reveal the dystopian nature of the setting without a lot of exposition. The main character, Gwen (played by Jacqueline Kim, who approaches the character with both nuance and grace) illustrates what a woman might do when she “ages out” of her job, a job for which she is still the most qualified in everything but her looks. Though the consequences of her decision make up the latter half of the movie, it isn’t as relentlessly bleak as most dystopian sci-fi (like HBO’s The Leftovers); there is still a glimmer of hope, especially at the end. 

However, had I not stumbled upon a the film on a feminist blog, I probably would have never heard of it. So this is one I think more people should watch. Plus it’s on Netflix Streaming, so quite literally all you need is a subscription and an hour and a half of your time. 

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