Thursday, December 09, 2004

Twee as fuck.

I'm currently obsessed with a Rough Trade comp called Indiepop1, a collection of '80s and early '90s 7"s from My Bloody Valentine, The Vaselines, The Magnetic Fields, blah blah blah. Inside, there's a reprint of a flyer that promises a show from one of the bands will be "Twee as Fuck." I love the expression and it's supposed to be endearing, so it's odd that I kept thinking of it as I sat through the airless and flat Finding Neverland.

People, Marc Forster and the good folks at Miramax have scrubbed the JM Barrie story into nothing. I fully expect filmmakers to take artistic liberty when they are telling biographical stories, but Forster and co. have juggled time lines, deleted family members and cleaned up dirty little secrets to aid in creating the worst kind of glossy, feel-good Oscar-pandering fluff. I guess we're supposed to root for this cinematic version of JM Barrie--the grown man obsessed with little boys and their innocene--but if you stop for a moment, block out the Splendatm score and pisspoor editing (and sumptuous costumes! I smell an Oscar nomination!), and think about the situation, you realize just what a selfish dick he is and start feeling bad for his ignored wife.

It doesn't help that when Forster decides to take us into Barrie's much-ballyhooed imagination it comes across as either Diet Fellini or some kind of low-budget musical that's being shot on a Shakespearean fetish-porn set. Hoorah for dancing bears (are we in John Irving country here?) and, um, "stylized" cowboys and injuns.

OK, I'm ending it here. Why am I working myself into a lather over a film that will ultimately wind up as the 4:00 am selection on TCM's Johnny Depp day in the year 2067? OK, I'll say something nice: it wasn't as bad as Beyond the Sea.


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