Restless is by one of my favorite directors, Gus Van Sant. It’s a gooey oddity that was supposed to come out in 2010. The release date got pushed up a bunch of times and now it’s quietly premiering on DVD. It may have played in New York and LA but it never got the wide-release that I’m sure producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Bryce Dallas-Howard intended. Sometimes I imagine that Van Sant is a director-for-hire, that he’ll make whatever as long as the price is right and the intentions are good. There wouldn’t be anything wrong with that as long as he’s true to the subject matter and he continues to make experimental masterpieces like Paranoid Park and elephant, but the subject matter in Restless is… I don’t know. There’s a great quote listed on Rotten Tomatoes by a critic named Thomas Caldwell from Cinema Autopsy. He writes, “Had Restless been a silent film it may have been some kind of stylish masterpiece.” Van Sant’s movies always look amazing and Restless is no exception. He can do no wrong in my opinion, so I’m biased. Sure, the movie’s good, but you may want a barf-bag ready.
Snowtown, directed by Justin Kurzel, is the depressing true story of a gang of Australian serial killers in the 90s who mostly targeted pedophiles. The film reminds me of the Aussie crime drama Animal Kingdom from 2010. Sordid folks living unspeakable lives. Lots of animal imagery in Snowtown. It’s provocative stuff, if you’re into chopped up kangaroos, dogs getting shot, a mouse being eaten by a snake, and a teenage Heath Ledger lookalike who gets molested a few times. When Heath is asked if he “likes being fucked,” the look on the kid’s face speaks volumes. The pace is slow so you have time to catch your breath between gasps. You may want to prepare a happier movie to watch after this is over.