Thomas Crown, Thomas Crown and a Mother!: Movies Viewed (#SFWApro)

Reading Museum of the Missing prompted me to check out THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1999), as Museum used that as a reference point. Pierce Brosnan is fun as a millionaire art lover who delights in elaborate heists until he meets ace investigator Rene Russo and contemplates whether he’d sooner keep her than his ill-gotten gains. When I first saw this I liked it, but I never got the feeling Russo was really interested in catching Brosnan rather than bedding him. Rewatching, that bothered me even more — ultimately, though, the movie is a romance, so I guess that approach makes sense, even if it didn’t entirely click with me. Denis Leary plays a cop, Fritz Weaver has a bit part as a businessman. “Are the laws of the United States completely unknown to you?”

That, in turn, led me to check out the original 1969 THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen in the leading roles. This one works much better for me, largely because, as director Norman Jewison says in the commentary, it’s “a love story between two shits” — McQueen isn’t really willing to reform (this time he’s robbing banks rather than museums), and Dunaway’s relentlessly determined to catch him. It’s also just a plain good movie, with Haxell Wexler as cinematographer, Hal Ashby editing and Noel Harrison singing the Oscar-winning “Windmills of Your Mind.” Well worth catching. “I’m running a sex orgy for a couple of freaks on government funds!”

MOTHER! (2017) is Darren Aronofsky’s ridiculous, self-indulgent exercise in pretension, wherein Jennifer Lawrence finds her neglectful poet husband (Javier Bardem) inexplicably inviting annoying guests such as Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer and Domnhall Gleeson into her home, with results that grow increasingly terrifying. I will admit I didn’t guess the Big Reveal, but that’s because everything to so absurd, I assumed it would all turn out to be some sort of hallucination. “It’s his muse — where have you been hiding?”

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