Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is Young Adult a Contender?

Well, Young Adult has been making an unusually quiet journey through major cities, but so far word of mouth has been muted. But some critics and pundits were finally able to screen it last night, and although there seems to be confusion about whether than can fully review it or not, it is clear that so far people seem to be impressed with it, some calling it Reitman's most mature and darkly funny movie of his career (which is saying alot considering Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air).

Kris Tapely at In Contention at Hitfix declares it "a winner" and writes:

"And no, "Young Adult" is not "Juno." Not that the latter is the trifle it's come to be considered since its 2007 release (it has its dark and emotional moments), but the latest Cody/Reitman collaboration is an unflinching piece of work committed to following its lead character on a downward path, eschewing a narrative of redemption and never conceding any ground...Charlize Theron gives a stellar, bitchy, biting, layered, at times moving performance...Oswalt, meanwhile, is so touching and funny and more than the mere comic relief you'd expect from the trailer. He gets a few key dramatic moments to sing and he really sticks the landing on each of them. I've had him chalked up for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for weeks upon weeks based merely on the early word, and I'm happy to see that vetted out after last night's screening."

But he's not the only one as Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere is ambiguous but still manages to say:

"The good news is that I wasn't the only one who admired the hell out of it, and that Patton Oswalt, portraying a blunt-spoken, half-crippled fat guy who befriends Charlize Theron's neurotic writer character, is now a Best Supporting Actor contender...definitely...I don't know what the rules are about reviewing Young Adult, but I can least say that (a) it's very ballsy, very well written, very uncompromising, very brazen -- a leap forward for Reitman and Cody both; (b) it's darkly funny during the first two-thirds to 75%, and sometimes hilarious..."

Both seem to hesitate on how critics and audiences will react to an unlikable character and an unflinching story, but I have kept the film, and Theron in the mix, and Reitman will definitely be in play, as will the screenplay. I just recently added Patton Oswalt, and am happy to hear that he is a standout. I think this one will be one to watch, and that all of the pundits and critics who are ignorning it will be proven wrong once again by Reitman, who seems to be getting better and better, and seems to have a knack at creating wonderful stories and characters.

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