“Summer Hours” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 32
“l took something ordinary. What would l do with something valuable?”
This is a movie about art.
This is a movie about family.
This is a movie about deciding what’s important.
It’s also a movie about a house – a character unto itself.
It’s an extremely stripped-down experience of a matriarch pragmatically planning for her demise with her children while simultaneously deciding how best to ensure the legacy and creative output of the one she secretly loved.
It surprised me by how invested I was in the unglamorized story and the people involved. The characters got angry, but didn’t let anger overtake them. The characters were sad, but not melodramatically so. The clichés never materialized. It’s just a tiny slice-of-life and tone poem about how aesthetics, livelihood, and sentimentality are more important to being human than we think.
I dug it. Quite a bit.
Summer Hours was at the time of this review at #3988 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #5151 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Summer Hours vs. Tron: Legacy
I wish I wasn’t as disappointed in Tron: Legacy as I was. Great soundtrack, not much else. Summer Hours wins.
Summer Hours vs. Desperado
Desperado is really wonderful. It’s romantic. It’s violent. It’s stylish. Still holds up well. Winner!
Summer Hours vs. Spider-Man: Homecoming
As much as I liked the new Spidey, it probably won’t stick with me long. I imagine Summer Hours will.
Summer Hours vs. Enemy of the State
Will Smith is good. Gene Hackman is good. For the life of me, though, I can’t recall much of anything about the actual story. Not the best of signs.
Summer Hours vs. Perfect Blue
You can check out my assessment of Perfect Blue, but my conclusion for this matchup is I admire Summer Hours more.
Summer Hours vs. Spider-Man
Another Spider-Man! The first of the Raimi Spideys… If it was the second, it’d be no contest, but the first one is dated and not that exciting to go back to.
Summer Hours vs. 2012
2012: The guiltiest of pleasures. John Cusack leading the end of the world is my kind of movie. It’s better than you’d expect.
Summer Hours vs. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Not that hot on Wes Anderson as a whole. Summer Hours is better.
Summer Hours vs. Closer
Closer was well-acted, but felt artificial. Kind of like a stage-play. Not really so much of a film. Summer Hours is more interesting.
Summer Hours vs. Charade
Eh, Charade did a whole lot of nothing for me. I particularly dislike Cary Grant.
Summer Hours vs. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Close, but surprisingly I think I prefer the stark realism of Summer Hours to the zany fun of GotG 2. Who’d’a’thunk?
Summer Hours is now ranked #399 out of 1541 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next up is Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, Time After Time, and Thank You For Smoking. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.