Skip to main content

SO B. IT review


2017
Directed by: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Starring: Talitha Bateman, Alfre Woodard, John Heard, Jessica Collins, Jacinda Barrett, Dash Mihok, and Cloris Leachman

When we don't talk about our past we can't expect to understand our present. There is always a story on how we got here and the people who brought us. Our medical histories, sense of identity, cultural heritage, and family gossip deeply affect and shape who we are. The most important journeys we take are the ones where we start by looking in.

Based on the bestselling YA novel by the same name, SO B. IT follows Heidi (Bateman), a precocious young girl who embarks on a journey across the country to uncover the story of her mother’s past and discovers herself along the way. Hedi is raised by her mentally disabled mother (Collins) who only uses 22 words and her agoraphobic neighbor (Woodard) who tries to protect her from inside their joined apartments.

SO B. IT is structured as something of a mystery, with the story of how these three characters found each other being the central question mark. Interestingly though, the how and why that drive young Hedi on her journey are the least compelling things about Gyllenhaal's adaptation. The real driving force behind this film is the character work. Bateman gives a brilliant performance, holding her own next to heavyweights like Alfre Woodard and the late John Heard. She has a difficult role, needing to balance the pathos of a pre-teen searching for her self with the charm of girl who is... lucky.

Not overly examined in the film, Hedi is gifted, she will tell you she is just lucky, but the ability to walk into a Reno laundromat, sit in front of a slot machine and turn $.25 into $80, is a gift. She can also guess the number of jelly beans in a jar and tell you heads or tails with 100 %  accuracy. I'm not sure if this was something explored deeper in the novel but I love that its just something that, is. She wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider or given the one ring to rule them all, she's just "lucky."

Trying to find your place in the world can be a lifelong challenge depending on the circumstances and events that willed you into existence. SO B. IT is a story about the motivation that moves us all, the desire to find solace in the story that made us. The simplicity of  Gyllenhaal's execution allows for powerful and often transcendent moments of grace. He has made a beautiful film.

   

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Episode 216 - John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

No one takes out the trash like Mr. Wick. Our trusty and reliable hosts enlist the assistance of Keanu Reeves' alter ego, John Wick, to help us usher in a new era of dependability. Dave and Jairo discuss John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum and revel in the glory of their hideous Game of Thrones predictions from the previous episode. Check out the latest episode on followingfilms.com.

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

Book Smart, Brightburn, Aladdin, Shazam!, Bumblebee, If Beale Street Could Talk, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum


THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Inglourious Basterds

Episode 219 - Inglourious Basterds

This week we are celebrating 10 years of Brad Pitt and his band of merry men wreaking havoc in Nazi Germany in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, Inglourious Basterds.


WHAT THE FEST!? Interview with Larry Fessenden on DEPRAVED

On this episode of the podcast, I had the chance to chat with genre legend Larry Fessenden. He was kind enough to carve out 20 minutes of his day to chat with me about his latest film DEPRAVED, the opening night selection for this year's WHAT THE FEST!? 
Shot on the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN,  writer-director Larry Fessenden’s brings his unique vision of the literary classic in DEPRAVED, set in modern Brooklyn. This meditative reimagining of the novel explores the crisis of masculinity and ideas about loneliness, memory and the subtle psychological shocks that shape us as individuals.

To hear my conversation with Larry click play on the embedded player below: