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Non-Review Review: Afternoon Delight

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2014.

Middle class attitudes towards sex are weird. Middle class attitudes toward middle class attitudes toward sex are particularly weird. Afternoon Delight is a film about the complexities around those attitudes, but it’s written from a point of view very grounded in that middle class perspective. There’s a sense that Afternoon Delight isn’t anywhere near as cutting and subversive as it wants to be, working hard to develop the character of “sex worker” McKenna only to throw it all away for a biting climax. (No pun intended.)

There’s a suffocating heavy-handedness and profundity to Afternoon Delight, a movie that edits a casual afternoon surfing on the beach as if we’ve wandered into a life-and-death scenario. There are wonderful moments of levity and wit in Afternoon Delight, but the film works far too hard to keep them boxed off and contained.


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Non-Review Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Ben Stiller recently explained that he was growing more interested in directing and less interested in acting in front of the camera. Even if he hadn’t confessed that in an interview, it would be hard to shake that feeling while watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s beautifully shot and contains a number of impressive sequences and set pieces, but ultimately feels a little hollow – like a beautifully-sketched picture inhabited by two-dimensional characters.

There are moments of splendor and beauty to be found in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but often in spite Steve Conrad’s script rather than because of it.

Daydream believer...

Daydream believer…

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