Showing Up (2023)
PG-13 ‧ Drama ‧ 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Written by Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
- Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, Maryann Plunkett, John Magaro, André Benjamin, James Le Gros, and Judd Hirsch
(In their own words).A sculptor preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends, in Kelly Reichardt’s vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art and craft.
The BEST things about the film
- The Acting – Solid acting throughout the film.
- Hidden Meaning – This is a very subtle film. There are messages and meanings behind a lot of things that I do not believe are apparent right away.
- Thoughtful – This is piece designed to make you think; about art, its process, why we make, how we explore it, etc.
The WORST things about the Film
- Not Much Happens – There isn’t a lot that happens during the film. It’s a kind of simple story with little things happening along the way. It’s easy to walk away from the film wondering why it was even made.
- Lack Of Impact – Kind of made me feel like a Vulcan when I left the film. I didn’t really have any feelings about it. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, nothing really stood out as a big moment for me.
Films like this are interesting because they remind me of why I loved theatre. It definitely doesn’t feel like a play, but you know there is a lot of thought put into it. There’s things in the film that are metaphors, like the broken wing of the pigeon the two leads are trying to help mend. So few things happen in the story, you know when something does, it is symbolic or important to the director and/or writers. So then you catch yourself thinking about the movie wondering why certain elements are in it. So it lingers. The film just lingers with you in the back of your mind as your subconscious is working out what you see. That’s what is so fascinating by this film.
I’m writing this two days after having seen it and I still can’t figure out what the point of the film is….and I want to know! I wasn’t bored during the film. I was interested in the characters, it was building toward some dramatic tension at the end, that to me, felt like a misdirection. But mostly likely intentional. The director did a good job keeping me engaged when very little was happening. And that’s a real good thing when so many movies these days are non-stop faced paced action machines. Sometimes, you just need to sit in the moment.
This film is somewhere between a “slice of life” piece and a “character driven” piece. I would go with the former because I think a good character piece needs to have an arc around one or more of the characters and not much changes for any of them through the film.
I have no doubt this film is going to be under-appreciated by most people, including myself.
I honestly don’t know yet. But here’s my guess, “you are not as broken as you think you are.” I might have a different one tomorrow.
IS IT REWATCHABLE
Maybe. I don’t know. If I did, it would be for a class probably. I’m not excited about seeing it again, but I might be okay with it. See if I get more meaning.
THE FINAL WORD
There’s a lot more beneath the surface of this film. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. It’s well-acted, well-crafted, and is an exercise in finding the deeper meanings in the things you see on screen. Part “slice of life” part “character” it is a much slower pace than a lot of the movies I’ve seen lately, but it also has a lot more meaning than most of those. The film really delves into the making of art and those who create it. A simple film with a lot going for it, but it isn’t one I expect to leave a lasting impression.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
I’m giving Showing Up a “Like It” because it did really get me thinking about the film and that is an accomplishment. I’m still trying to figure out parts of it…in a good way.
THE MEME REVIEW