The Top 10 Mumblecore Movies on Netflix Instant
Matchup of the Day
I give you Mumblecore vs. Mjölnir:
This is the definition of Mumblecore that I found in a 2007 New York Times article:
Specimens of the genre share a low-key naturalism, low-fi production values and a stream of low-volume chatter often perceived as ineloquence.
Thor, as many of you are aware, is a superhero tale about the God of Thunder. According to IMDB, the estimated budget was around $150,000,000. It is not low-fi or low-key, though some people who aren’t fans of comic book blockbusters may decry its ineloquence (which is not low-volume). Tiny Furniture, budgeted at $50,000, is currently the #2 ranked Mumblecore film on Flickchart.
Mumblecore movies are generally slice of life stories involving twenty-somethings, from what I understand. I haven’t seen very many of them, admittedly, so I’m just speaking from my perception. Tiny Furniture is about a young woman, Aura, just out of college. She’s on the frumpy side and not sure what she wants to do with her life. Her younger sister is more motivated and put together. Early in the movie, Aura arrives home from school to little fanfare. She walks in on her mother, who is an artist, photographing her sister in high heels. She asks, “How come you never use me in any of your pictures?”. Her sister replies, “My legs are longer and more supple.” I figured that was to establish that Aura is kind of the second-tier child.
This reminded me of Thor, which I viewed just before Tiny Furniture. The the family relationship between Thor, his father, Odin, and brother, Loki, is similar. Loki is jealous of Thor because Odin seems to favor him. Odin never outright says it, but he does intend to make Thor the king of Asgard, which leaves Loki feeling less loved. Anyway, Thor gets cocky, nearly plunging Asgard into a nasty war with frost giants. Odin kicks him out of Asgard in order to teach him humility. While Thor’s stuck on Earth, Loki claims the throne of Asgard and engages in some underhanded tactics in order to make himself out to be the better child. Thor, of course, does learn to stop being a showboater and is able to return to Asgard and set things right.
Tiny Furniture doesn’t wrap up so cleanly, since Mumblecore movies are more about day-to-day life. I’m not entirely sure that Aura even grows that much as a character. At least, not in a epic way like Thor. There are some people who like movies for escapism, while others are looking for insight into life’s little realities. Now that I think about it, though, these movies are both about young adults who act out of indiscretion and ignore the wishes of their parents (who support them). So, maybe they are more alike than their budgetary and genre differences let on. (Is Odin a better parent than Aura’s mom? Discuss.)
These are currently the other highest-ranked Mumblecore movies that are available on Netflix Instant: