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“A Life Less Ordinary” – Movies I Love

August 2, 2011

Director:

Danny Boyle

Writer:

John Hodge

Stars:

Cameron Diaz, Ewan McGregor and Holly Hunter

Life Less Ordinary – You might find this odd, but it wasn’t Shallow Grave or Trainspotting that made me sit up and notice Danny Boyle.  It was a Life Less Ordinary.  The whimsy of this film literally makes me smile when I think about it.  It felt like a Grant and Hepburn film of the fifties or sixties.  In  nutshell,  it’s the story of a man, Robert, played by Ewan McGreggor, who is faced with the stress of something we all worry about in this economy.  He loses his job when his employer decides to replace him with a highly efficient-yet-cartoony robot.

Robert, over-reacting, then goes on an absurd adventure which includes kidnapping, a pair of  matchmaking angels from heaven, a surreal musical number, and finding your true love.  The happy accidental miscasting of Dan Hedaya, Holly Hunter, and Delroy Lindow as angels is perfect.  Their chemistry on-screen is perfect.  You never know what they are going to do.  Which is perfect, because we mere humans should never be able to understand heavenly matters.

Lastly, the use of the song “Leave” by REM was nothing short of BRILLIANT.
This song utilizes a long instrumental opening building to a loud and  violent crescendo of electronic music and Michael Stipe’s voice  screaming the lyrics:

Nothing could  bring me closer.
Nothing could  bring me near.
Where is the road I follow
To leave, leave?

It’s under, under, under my feet.
The sea spread out there before me.
Where do I go when the land touches sea?
There is my trust in what I believe.

That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me down,
To leave, believe it,
To leave it all behind.

Shifting the dream
Nothing could bring me further from my old friend time.
Shifting the dream
It’s charging the scene
I know where I marked the signs.

I suffer the dreams of a world gone mad
I like it like that and I know it
I know it well, ugly and sweet,
That temper madness with an even extreme.

That’s what keeps me
That’s what keeps me
That’s what keeps me down
I say that I’m a bantam lightweight
I say that I’m a phantom airplane
That never left the ground.

That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me down,
To leave it, believe it.
Leave it all behind.

Lift me, lift me,
I attain my dream.
I lost myself, I lost the
Heartache calling me.
I lost myself in sorrow
I lost myself in pain.
I lost myself in clarity,
Memory, leave, leave.

That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me down,
To leave it, believe it,
Leave it all behind.

That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me,
That’s what keeps me down,
To leave it, believe it,
Leave it all behind.

Lift my hands, my eyes are still,
I’ll walk into the sea
Shoot myself in a different place
And leave it

I’ve longed for this to take me,
I’ve longed for my release
I’ve waited for the callin’
To leave, leave.

Leave, leave.
Leavin’, leavin’

REM is usually more upbeat, i.e. “Stand” “Shiny Happy People” even “It’s the end of the World as We Know it.”   This song seems like it never should have made it out of the studio, but I’m glad it did, because it is perfect in this film.  It brought a level of anxiety, desperation, violence, and love to this film that then brought me to the edge of my seat.

If you have not yet seen this film, move it to the front of your queue.  Do it now.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul permalink
    August 2, 2011 9:59 pm

    I love this movie! Thanks for turning me onto it a few years ago. To this day I can NOT look at a book in an airport bookshop with out the following line rifling through my head:

    “IT’S A TRASH NOVEL! YOU BUY IT IN AN AIRPORT AND TAKE IT WITH YOU ON HOLIDAY!!!”

    • August 3, 2011 9:57 am

      “She discovers she’s the love child of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy” —— Blank stares…

  2. August 24, 2011 9:50 am

    What British and Irish films would you classify as some of your favourite films? Or “fil-im”, as we pronounce it! I can’t wait for At Swim Two Birds to see the light of day. Flann O’Brien’s words are surely safe in the hands of the brilliant Brendan Gleeson 🙂

    • October 19, 2011 12:27 pm

      Hope you’re doing well! You asked this 4 months ago… So I feel that I owe you an impressive answer. How about a post of my favorite UK films? Gimme a day to ponder on it.

      • November 29, 2011 4:09 pm

        A post on your favourite British films would definitely be a great read. Although, I have to admit that I am particularly curious to find out what Irish films, or Irish-themed films you are keen on. British films would be more than welcome though 🙂

  3. August 28, 2011 10:29 am

    Nice review…not my kind of movie tho.
    And welcome back 🙂 haven”t seen you around in a while

    • October 19, 2011 12:28 pm

      Now I’m really back! 2 in 2 days! Won’t keep up this pace, but I’m going to try harder.

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