12. Yvonne

What follows after dinner is a really, really long scene (that I am going to spend very little space on) filled with uncomfortable moments, a disgusting looking chocolate cake and a call from someone named Yvonne. That part really sticks with me because, until that call, the young woman had received the calls always from […]

10. The Dinner

I’m tempted to be sidetracked here into a discussion of the parents’ casting — which both unusual and highly effective, but I’m not sure how much else needs to be said — or the editing. Ugh, the editing … my pet peeve about Netflix and a growing number of movies these days is the excessive […]

9. Waiting for the Parents

So far, in eight essays, I’ve covered only about 26 minutes of screen time. The film has a surprisingly lengthy first act and then it begins the second act with an excruciatingly slow introduction. We wait for over six minutes for the parents to come down from upstairs and what happens while we’re waiting is […]

8. The Invention of Hope

Up to the point where the couple reaches his parent’s/janitor’s house, the movie has strayed significantly from the book — for the better, in my opinion. Upon arrival, we get a scene close to a straight up adaptation of Iain Reid’s novel, in fact more so than any other in the movie. That could give […]

7. Thinking About Time

Our travelers shared a very heavy scene in yesterday’s post, one where the artist in the girlfriend emerges and so much is communicated outside of the words. The scene that immediately follows has a sneaky heaviness about it as well, but it starts off, oddly, as if the previous scene had never happened. The girlfriend […]

6. Gazes and Verse

It doesn’t take long for Kaufman to transform his version of the girlfriend from someone who isn’t a “metaphorical kind of girl” into a full-blown poet. That is almost certainly not an accident. By putting her rapid transformation into an artistic genius so close to a scene where she denies that side of her, Kaufman […]

5. The Janitor

Iain Reid thinks we should have empathy for the janitor, but Charlie Kaufman goes beyond that. He believes we should admire him. It’s not an easy position to reach. There is a menacing quality to the janitor. We see him as someone who is watching, interfering and potentially wishing harm on the girlfriend. On a […]

4. Adaptation in Reverse

The typical film adaptation is an exercise in streamlining. The work tends to involve taking a novel 200 to 300 pages in length (in some cases much longer), boiling it down to a script of 100 to 150 pages, with as little narration as possible, telling the story mostly with pictures and dialogue. If the […]

3: Scarlet Sins

The casting of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is both surprising and brilliant. This is one case where the filmmakers decided to completely ignore the character descriptions from the novel and make the most of the unique chemistry that unique character actors can bring to a project. I’ll have a lot more to write about […]