Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Message
Author
User avatar
Lost Highway
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#51 Post by Lost Highway » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:53 am

mfunk9786 wrote:Now you can all go back to talking about how crummy it is.
So far four out of five liked it !

User avatar
AlexHansen
Posts: 373
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:39 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#52 Post by AlexHansen » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:53 am

Well said mfunk. The other unsettling thing about the
SpoilerShow
Damon scene
for me is how much money is being made off of her new circumstances.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11992
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#53 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:32 am

Lost Highway wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:Now you can all go back to talking about how crummy it is.
So far four out of five liked it !
I was feeling a bit silly about my effusive praise especially since there’s plenty more forum users yet to see it (I hope!)

User avatar
CSM126
Posts: 1450
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:22 am
Location: The Room
Contact:

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#54 Post by CSM126 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:39 pm

I loved, loved, loved this. Genuinely skin-crawlingly creepy stuff here, and that ending! My god! I genuinely found myself breathless and shaking as the credits rolled. Mfunk’s mention of Silence of the Lambs rings true for me - these are two great, disturbing, films about the horrors of the female experience in society.
SpoilerShow
The endings even seem to rhyme: Clarice left calling out the name of the man who terrifies her and Sawyer left seeing her attacker’s face everywhere she goes. Their victories are hollow because they can’t escape what has been done to them.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#55 Post by Brian C » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:23 pm

What this reminded me of was, of all things, Fritz Lang. Not stylistically so much, but in the way it takes a pulpy story and uses it to express disgust at some sort of systemic evil (here a two-for-one deal as far as that goes), while at the same time being fairly pitiless to the victims of that evil. I don't know if it's a great movie, but I certainly found it effective in its sort of nasty way. Nothing I'd have expected from Soderbergh, that's for sure.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11992
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#56 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:06 am

Fascinated by your read that the film is “fairly pitiless” to victims of this particular systemic evil: if you don’t mind, could you expand on that?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29056
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#57 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:13 pm

This was another commercial bomb for Soderbergh, opening outside the top ten with just $3.8 million despite a wide opening. However, it only cost $1.5 million, so it doesn't really matter I guess

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#58 Post by Brian C » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:31 pm

I blame Appalachia for not responding to the marketing.

(Oh and mfunk, I’ll get to your question later when I’m at my computer instead of on my phone.)

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#59 Post by Brian C » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:40 am

mfunk9786 wrote:Fascinated by your read that the film is “fairly pitiless” to victims of this particular systemic evil: if you don’t mind, could you expand on that?
I just didn't think that - for all that was happening to them - the characters were ever let off the hook.
SpoilerShow
Most obviously, I would point to Juno Temple's character. She's introduced as an unlikeable character, then mostly forgotten, until being lured by the movie's protagonist into an attempted rape, and then unceremoniously murdered and subsequently forgotten all over again. If that's not stone cold pitiless, I can scarcely imagine what would be.

But even with Sawyer, I don't think she's made out to be a character to be pitied. Sure, there's the sense that what's happening to her is unambiguously wrong, but that's not the same thing. She willfully avoids relating to her fellow inmates even when it becomes clear that many of them are probably facing the same circumstances as her. She's constantly defiant and even violent when it would benefit her to be more docile. And of course, when the chips are down, she sacrifices Violet to save herself, and there's no reason to think she feels the least bit sorry for doing so, or that the film does either.

Now to be clear, I don't mean any of this as a criticism of either the movie or even of her. I think she's a fantastically compelling and original character. Still and all, it's hard to see any room for pity in the way that the film treats her.

By the way, while I'm in spoiler tags, I have one plot question - who is the body found in the park by the jogger and her dog? I thought it was Sawyer's mom, but then she's in the body bag in the trunk of the car. Are we to believe that he stole her corpse from the morgue? Why would he do that? The only two dead people I can think of were her and Jay Pharoah's character, but it obviously wasn't him.

User avatar
The Narrator Returns
Posts: 1455
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#60 Post by The Narrator Returns » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:44 am

SpoilerShow
That's the real George Shaw, who David murdered and assumed his identity. His body is shown next to Pharoah's in the morgue at one point.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#61 Post by Brian C » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:05 am

Oh OK, thanks. I completely missed that.

User avatar
Ribs
Posts: 2930
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#62 Post by Ribs » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:05 am

domino harvey wrote:This was another commercial bomb for Soderbergh, opening outside the top ten with just $3.8 million despite a wide opening. However, it only cost $1.5 million, so it doesn't really matter I guess
I don't think bomb is the right term for this, considering the scale! This movie did extremely limited, targeted marketing that probably cost less than $3 million. Assuming the Fingerprint model means that they were at break-even from dollar zero, they've probably made a good bit off of this already. As a genre thing without a great Cinemascore it seems like it would be lucky for it to double its opening weekend before disappearing, though.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11992
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#63 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:34 pm

Brian C wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:Fascinated by your read that the film is “fairly pitiless” to victims of this particular systemic evil: if you don’t mind, could you expand on that?
I just didn't think that - for all that was happening to them - the characters were ever let off the hook.
SpoilerShow
Most obviously, I would point to Juno Temple's character. She's introduced as an unlikeable character, then mostly forgotten, until being lured by the movie's protagonist into an attempted rape, and then unceremoniously murdered and subsequently forgotten all over again. If that's not stone cold pitiless, I can scarcely imagine what would be.

But even with Sawyer, I don't think she's made out to be a character to be pitied. Sure, there's the sense that what's happening to her is unambiguously wrong, but that's not the same thing. She willfully avoids relating to her fellow inmates even when it becomes clear that many of them are probably facing the same circumstances as her. She's constantly defiant and even violent when it would benefit her to be more docile. And of course, when the chips are down, she sacrifices Violet to save herself, and there's no reason to think she feels the least bit sorry for doing so, or that the film does either.

Now to be clear, I don't mean any of this as a criticism of either the movie or even of her. I think she's a fantastically compelling and original character. Still and all, it's hard to see any room for pity in the way that the film treats her.

By the way, while I'm in spoiler tags, I have one plot question - who is the body found in the park by the jogger and her dog? I thought it was Sawyer's mom, but then she's in the body bag in the trunk of the car. Are we to believe that he stole her corpse from the morgue? Why would he do that? The only two dead people I can think of were her and Jay Pharoah's character, but it obviously wasn't him.
Your initial statement makes a lot more sense to me now, thank you!
SpoilerShow
I do think that she anticipated being able to make it out of that situation without harm coming to Violet, but by that point David was The Terminator. Which I think the film earned, as he was unbelievably dedicated to luring Sawyer away at all costs, but it is indeed quite unfortunate what happened to Violet in the process.

User avatar
pianocrash
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:02 am
Location: Over & Out

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#64 Post by pianocrash » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:26 am

Unmoved as I was after seeing this, I just wish that for all his visual proficiency that Steve would shoot someone else's film just once? This film was a mess, for every reason already stated, but mostly for Steven's very large hand swooping over the entire film in the guise of someone who actually knows what's up? About the world? And victimization? Or anything that's not a really entertaining quartet of heist movies? Or Schizopolis? His precision hand with this film is actually too much to bear - rather than feeling like I was stuck in an asylum, I was instead stuck in Steven Soderbergh's Cheep Horror Moobie. As the plot begins to splinter during the second half, there are absolutely no surprises, and it's all rote from then onward.

Visually it's more akin to the claustrophobia of Seconds than anything else, but it lacks the overall squeamishness or even true terror it could have squeezed out of the iPhone, though it's still stunning overall. Claire Foy I had never seen before (may she one day be paired with Maria Dizzia in some sort of Persona pastiche), but is kind of tremendous despite it all.

But maybe most importantly, the only stalker face I kept seeing during the entirety of the movie was
SpoilerShow
Image
which probably is the crux of my bias regarding this filmed moobie.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
LightGenius
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#65 Post by DarkImbecile » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:21 pm

This number seems so extreme that I’m anticipating it being an error, but Box Office Mojo is showing Unsane as having dropped more than 96% in its second weekend (see #25), which would have to be the all-time record for a movie released on over 2,000 screens. It has made/will still make a profit, but yeesh... it almost makes me like it more in retrospect.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
LightGenius
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#66 Post by DarkImbecile » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:29 pm

... and now that I check elsewhere it looks like BOM left off a zero, so it only fell a more reasonable 60-something percent. False alarm, everyone return to your homes!

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29056
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#67 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:36 am

I enjoyed this as a pulpy noir throwback, playing on fears of mental unbalance that were far more commonly exploited in post-war America. As has been stated by others, I thought the terror of being inadvertently voluntarily committed was far more horrifying than the more conventional stalker business. Genre exercises like this get something of a freer pass for absurd narrative conceits, but I'm not sure the film ever recovers from the audacity of its central idea
SpoilerShow
that Claire Foy's stalker could somehow find out where she was committed, find a new employee to impersonate, kill the employee, and take his place within the span of a day
There are two elements in play here that elevate it to something of interest. The first and obvious one is the very nature of its existence. I thought the stylistic approach of using iPhones was ugly and distracting, but Soderbergh uses it to find new ways to put the camera where one ordinarily could not. Sometimes this is amusing, but often times I though the takeaway was that just because you can now put a camera into a weird location doesn't necessarily mean you should! Still, the experimentation is a real point of interest, and fits with Soderbergh's career-long approach to finding new ways of doing things to entertain himself. I don't think I want to see another film shot like this from Soderbergh, though, so I hope he gets this out of his system or finds something new to do with the method, since I believe High Flying Bird was also shot with iPhones?

The second bright spot here is Foy, namely that her character is refreshingly average. Not witty, kind of rude, understandably flustered, and making all manner of bad decisions that don't come off as plot contrivances (though I suspect the original script had none of this character depth given its authors are industry hacks). While it's super on the nose, her scene late in the film tearing down the "nice guy" stalker I think highlights why this matters: everyone, regardless of personal virtue or perceived worth, deserves to be seen and treated as an individual human being, not an abstract idea. By removing the impetus to make the protagonist conventionally "likable" (read: flawless), she is made more sympathetic and relatable. I think in many ways the scene early on in the film of her on the agonizing Tinder date is one of the best in the film, because it tells us so much about this character, not all of it pleasant. Her charmless crassness carries over to her third act plan, which is really quite disturbing and undercuts would-be claims of the film being a booster for rah rah empowerment. I think Soderbergh is drawn to the complexity of the character and her predicament, and is uninterested in making her an easy audience surrogate. It's a smart choice, and Foy, who I've heard lots about but haven't actually seen in anything apart from that dreadful Lisbeth Salander trailer, is terrific at vacillating between emotions and approaches as she tries to navigate her predicament. It's an awards-worthy perf, though she's apparently already preordained to make it to the podium for Chazelle's upcoming film. We'll pretend that one's for this one too!

One more thing
SpoilerShow
I'm grateful that in this age of everything being spoiled, the novelty of seeing Matt Damon pop up was preserved. Though given the box office poison this turned out to be, I'm sure putting his name somewhere on the posters probably would have tripled the box office take!

User avatar
Ribs
Posts: 2930
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#68 Post by Ribs » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:35 am

I swear not every single Soderbergh thread should devolve into this, but this movie in no way disappointed at the box office. Like, yeah, it potentially could have broken out into a bigger hit like some horror titles manage but $8 million on a <$2 million budget and next-to-no marketing spend is nothing to shake a stick at, especially from Bleecker Street.
SpoilerShow
And Matt Damon's never really been a get-people-to-turn-up movie star, just a name a lot of people are familiar with, anyway. I absolutely understand you were making a joking suggestion, but this movie made 30% more than Suburbicon did!

User avatar
DarkImbecile
LightGenius
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#69 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:40 am

To support Ribs' point, it grossed $12 million worldwide and according to Soderbergh nearly all of the production cost was covered by foreign pre-sales, product deals, etc., so there's almost no way this didn't make (modest) money if Soderbergh can be believed in re: budget and financing.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11992
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#70 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:37 pm

I think about
SpoilerShow
those scenes with Damon, particularly him looking around the perimeter of the house
all the time. There's a frightening practicality to all of it that is so, so melancholy. Great write-up, Domino. If anything, I thought Foy's character being so average made her a more effective audience surrogate since, you know, we all have our problems. But like everything with this film, I can point to the box office to prove that I'm well in the minority.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11992
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#71 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:07 pm

Blu-ray.com was spot on with their evaluation of these discs - the UHD has a really unique look to it that elevates it over the Blu-ray by unexpected leaps and bounds. The way HDR boosts the whites (stray sun-drenched strands of Foy's hair, light reflecting off of tables in dimly lit bars, and of course any number of scenes inside of the mental hospital) is really something. Highly recommended!

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29056
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#72 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:46 am

SpoilerShow
Been rewatching Law and Order: Criminal Intent and I completely forgot that long before he pulled the same trick here and in Interstellar, he had an unannounced cameo on the show as himself. I love that this is Damon's brand.

User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13642
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#73 Post by swo17 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:47 am

SpoilerShow
Also Che

User avatar
The Narrator Returns
Posts: 1455
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#74 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:50 am

SpoilerShow
It goes back as far as Finding Forrester

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Posts: 5949
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)

#75 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:37 pm

SpoilerShow
Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl, too

Post Reply