I hate seeing non-nominated movies during awards season. Especially when this year, I haven’t even seen half of the nominations and there’s only about a month left of viewing time. That’s a lot of popcorn folks. But, as a screener, I can’t predict what will get nominated before I see them, so when I was assigned to The Past – I thought it would for sure get a foreign nod.
Well, it didn’t make it past The Globes.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t see this. It’s a cool movie. Very, cool. The cutie from 2011’s The Artist, Berenice Bejo plays a single mother of two divorcing, remarrying and nesting for her third. The story is not necessarily about her though, as much as it is about the results her choices have had on her relationships. The most intimate sketch we get is that between her newest ex. There’s an underlying tenderness and companionship that’s evident, but the secrets behind their failed relationship insidiously reveal themselves in the same way a day lily blooms and wilts ever so quickly.
The storyline is basic – did the new boyfriend’s wife fall into a coma because of their relationship, or was it inevitable? But the points we experience don’t seem to lead towards any sort of resolution… or happy ending for that matter. The plot thickens all the way through, intertwining young, innocent emotion with scary, distasteful spirits. Selfishness and guilt clash with a jolt of electricity so strong, that, as a viewer, you kind of hope the power just goes out and you can forget about it.
But, that’s a good review. It plays out dramatically, candidly and stressfully. It’s nice to see Bejo totally rock out her speaking role in this film. It makes me give her several second thoughts and look forward to seeing more of her work.
Why didn’t it get nominated? Bejo gives a strong performance, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the group on the list this year. It’s tough competition. As a film, I think it was overlooked because it’s a story we’ve heard before, seen before and leaves no lasting impression. It’s great, stellar, even, but it’s not one I would label a ‘must-see,’ meaning it was probably not even on The Academy’s radar.
Bottom-line? Put it in your Netflix queue for arrival following The Oscars.