Saw The Weatherman last night.
People pretty much know how I feel about Nicholas Cage.
I think I've found what my problem with him is: He was just miscast in all those other movies. The movies that required the ability to move your face. You know... act. He had Keanu Reeves syndrome... where he's good if the movie needs a deer in the headlights (see: Matrix, Bill & Ted).
So if you didnt know my background with Cage, that's it in a nutshell.
The Weatherman is a perfect vehicle for Cage. It basically restored my faith in him, since I try really hard not to see deer in the headlight movies. The only Cage movies I like are Face/Off for acting reasons (and really, that was Travolta's vehicle, cause Cage still spent most of the movie being a DITH), and Gone in 60 seconds for car reasons. I have not seen Adaptation. So there is hope still. Anyways, I just assumed that he was miscast in all the other movies, or maybe i just didnt like the DITH face. But here. Here, in this film, the close ups (i mean, pore-counting close ups) allow me to see a new side of Cage. The subtle changes. So now I believe that Cage can act. When there's nothing but stuff blowing up, I missed that he's not an action hero actor. He's a subtle change actor. And there aren't many of those in Hollywood. So... I guess what I'm typing here is that I have newfound respect for Nicholas Coppola as an actor. So all you Cage-a-philes get off my back for beinga "hater". I just think he was miscast. OMG "give me back my bunny". Need I say more?
Back to the Weatherman, really, I thought it was a great movie. And the sound designer for it needs a medal or something, because there's this theme that gets interrupted. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a mistake, like the guy in the projection booth didnt know what he was doing or something (yes, I know that they have these automated things now). But then it happened again, and I thought it was brilliant. I need to see it again, to see if the theme's interruption (which is like a cd skipping, or like a record getting stopped abruptly) happens every time he screws up, or every time someone throws something at him. Really, it was a brilliant touch.
As far as Michael Caine... No. Let's skip Michael Caine. He's brilliant enough that he doesnt need a nobody telling him that he is.
Mr. Caine, your work is brilliant. I can only hope to aspire to your level of craft someday.
So back to the movie... I saw it with a guy who didn't like it because Cage's character doesn't really change. But the movie wasn't about him changing... it was about more than that. One level of it was just him accepting the way his life was. He was an asshole, and will most likely continue to be one. Sometimes, holding on to things is more destructive than leting them go & moving on with who you are. And he does change, in small ways. His son has an issue that he "takes care of", which i'm surprised that the parties involved didnt press charges against each other, frankly... but his other kid smokes and NO ONE IDENTIFIES THAT. That bothered me, but that's just it... he's living in his own world, where everything is about him, so when he sees that his kid is smoking, he's so busy lamenting about how his life sucks that he can't even say "what are these? I know what they are, but what sucks so bad that you feel the need to smoke?" he just looks at them in her bag & goes on about how he's failed. And he's right. He's stuck in this cycle. He failed, but since he's so hung up on himself, he can't move on and therefore keeps going on failing.
On another level, the movie shows how you can get everything and still not be happy... I mean, this guy... he get's PAID... but he can't appreciate it because he's too busy wallowing in self pity. No wonder no one wants to be around him. I'd have told him to grow a spine & grow up. He's so busy wallowing in self pity that he wants to know how to fix things, so he and his wife go to this counsellor, and they write something that they've never told the other person. then they give it to them, under the impression that the other person will NEVER READ IT. So you can guess what happens. He views this as his opportunity to figure out something that bothers her so he can fix it, as if this one chance will fix everything and make him have a perfect life in his mind again. So he reads it. Which, since he's stuck in his own little world, makes sense. he's got the golden ticket to finding out where he screwed up. Only it backfires. NOT reading it was the pupose of the excercise. NOT reading it was the golden ticket.
Yes. This guy sucks. Yes. He keeps doing everything wrong. And he will keep on doing everything wrong until he realizes that it's not about him.
One part I liked was that his thought that his wife was attracted to money backfired. He figures if he gets the job that's worth a million bucks and some change, that she'll come back to him for the money. And with her, it's not about the money. It was never about the money. It was about him.
< editor's note: I like how the last sentence of that paragraph contradicts the last sentence of the paragraph before it. I'll rephrase with "It was never about the money: it was about him and his obsession with himself." /end edit >
Anyways, so he develops a strength. He gets a hobby. In doing so, he develops the focus, and strength that he needs to push him into self exceptance. Anyways he doesn't make it into model husband/father land. But not too many people do.
Sometimes, a frog is just a frog.
But he did change. He started to live his life for himself, instead of in the past, trying to reclaim some lost glory he never had in the first place. He stops living for other people, calls himself on where he is, and keeps going. That is a success. A small one, but a succes nevertheless. Life is work-in-progress. I think it's assinine to think that life can be tied neatly up in a bow. The guy does change. And that one small change could lead to larger ones. But it'shis life, and we were only allowed a glimpse into it. Maybe the guy goes on to learn to put the toilet seat down after he's done. Maybe he finds some hot chick and remarries. But that's for him to have.
Really, I'm happy for the guy who finally got to be comfortable with who he is, at where he is. That's a victory. Yes, he's still an asshole, but at least *now he knows and can recognize that he is one*. The first step to solving the problem, as the cliche standard goes, is admitting you have one. And that first step, as another cliche standard claims, is usually the hardest.
Good for him!