VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Dark Horse (2011)

Claire: 3.6/5 stars, 7.8/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 2.8/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

Todd Solondz! One of my 15 favorite directors!

He doesn’t really make movies in genres that I like; he makes movies in genres I don’t like and manages to make them very interesting to me.

His movies are the ultimate in depressing awkwardness, with occasional black comedic effect.  And this movie lived up to that reputation.

Ultimately we have a movie about a main characther who is such a loser that everyone around him would be better off if he was dead. We end up with a very lonely movie.  It kind of makes us think about how detached, lonely, and desperate people really are (it’s more than most people think). We’re all just floating through life, scared, having no idea what we’re doing — and yet, grabbing on to the first person willing to grab back doesn’t magically solve these problems. I’ve learned it all too well myself, and this movie demonstrates it just again. The cold hard existental truth about the meaningless of human contact.

Interesting IMDB trivia: “Estelle Harris, Jason Alexander and Jerry Stiller were hired to do voice overs for the scenes where Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken sit stone-faced watching an unseen TV sitcom. Todd Solondz felt the Costanzas on the TV series Seinfeld were a sitcom version of the family he was depicting, but he couldn’t afford to use audio clips from Seinfeld.”

Written & directed by Todd Solondz (Palidromes; Happiness; Welcome To The Dollhouse; Fear, Anxiety & Depression [my favorite]).

Jordan Gelber as Abe.
Selma Blair (Storytelling, Hellboy movies, A Dirty Shame, Cruel Intentions, Can’t Hardly Wait, Legally Blonde, Destiny in 2 eps of Out There, 1 ep of Portlandia) as Miranda.
Mia Farrow as Phyllis.
Christopher Walken as Jackie.
Justin Bartha (Doug in The Hangover movies, National Treasure movies, uncredited in 54) as Richard, the brother.
Aasif Mandvi (The Internship, Movie 43, The Dictator, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, The Last Airbender, Spider-Man 2, 1 ep of King Of The Hill, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Mahmoud.
Zachary Booth (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as Justin.
Donna Murphy (The Bourne Legacy, The Fountain, Spider-Man 2) as Marie.
Tyler Maynard (there’s also a character called Jiminy in Palindromes) as Jiminy.