Kind of a rough day, the one before the last one, so I fled to the cinema. It’s often like this. Not anything overwhelmingly terrible about the day, oh no not that, but I craved the chance to slide over the edge into someone else’s imaginings–the lives of 20-foot characters leaning down at me while I merely sit chewing buttery popcorn for a couple hours, sucking the husk and forgetting what drove me to the theatre in the first place.
I went to see George Clooney pretend he descended from Hawaiian royalty and scream at his comatose wife, whom he dearly loved, while his make-believe daughters waited outside the hospital room. The movie was The Descendents and it was about death.
His wife, Elizabeth, crashed her speed boat 22 days earlier, leaving him alone with the newness of this grief and the task of pulling the plug and raising the girls on his own. Grim and riveting; I’m glad I saw it. But why?
It was that fine line, I think. The one separating me from my silly little left-behind day–and the one that could potentially separate us from one another, in the skid of a motor boat or slip of a step. It’s never a bad thing to be reminded of this.
Clooney (Matt?) tore into her for leaving him and so did her daughters–the 17 and 10-year-old whose names I forget and whom I’ll probably see, over the years, pop up in other films. The emotions were spectacularly believable and I like that in a film. Maybe because it’s rare.
The movie will drift from memory soon, they always do, but maybe it impacted me once I returned to those trivial annoyances that sent me there in the first place. Maybe it steadied–or unsteadied–my step.