Day: June 5, 2019

Stubborn is as Stubborn Does

Self-doubt is something I really struggle with. There’s almost no situation in which my inner saboteur doesn’t have an opinion. It can be as simple as getting out of bed on a Monday morning and the inner voice will tell me I can’t do it – and for a split second, I usually believe her. It takes a lot of effort to shake it off. However, there’s a big difference between being told you can’t do something by your own anxiety – and being told you can’t do something by somebody else.

OH HELL NO.

I’ve found myself in countless scenarios where someone has doubted my ability to do something. I once did a 300-foot bungy swing just to prove to my Horrible Boyfriend™ that I wasn’t a wimp. He mocked my fear in front of everyone so I felt obliged to prove him wrong. It was the worst five minutes of my life and I hard swore all the way down BUT I DID IT. In fact, looking back, that philosophy could be half the reason I ended up in such a bad relationship in the first place – my friends told me not to date him and were dumbstruck that I’d go for someone so…  unlike me – so I hung on for dear life. How I wish I’d listened.

The moral is, if you tell me I can’t – I’m going to do it.

This stubbornness in the face of doubters can be seen as both a positive and a negative. It can lead as described above to some truly inadvisable situations – nobody needs to swing from a 300-foot height for no reason. Nobody. And nobody needs to date the so-called ‘bad boy’ (LOL) for six years just because everyone’s telling her she can’t. It’s the Romeo & Juliet effect without any of the romance.

But being told you can’t do something and proving everyone wrong can be incredibly motivating too. When people don’t believe in you the way your best friends, mother and the drunk girl in the toilets do, it’s satisfying to wipe the smirk off smug faces. Or rub their stupid smug faces in your success. Anyway, who doesn’t cheer on their friends and loved ones in the first place? This world has enough issues as it is – ones that are getting worse – can’t we just be cheerleaders for everyone we know?

It’s a shame I didn’t have this attitude back in high school when my biology teacher told me I wasn’t smart enough to be a vet, isn’t it?

*Another recycled work post.

Ma

A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

Octavia SpencerDiana SilversJuliette Lewis

Jesus. I think the main thing I took away from this film is that Ma and I ain’t that different. Watching her hang out with actual teenagers in her basement is an accurate depiction of my social life. LOL.

Sure, I’m joshing but I do feel for our protagonist/antagonist as we slowly learn more about the humiliation that leads her to being this… unconventional. School age kids are the cruellest, man and I wouldn’t go back for all the money (and tea) in China.

Before we get to Ma, let’s start at the beginning. Maggie Thompson (Silvers) and her mother Erica (the legend Juliette Lewis) move back to Erica’s small hometown in Ohio. Erica has a job at the local casino while Maggie attends the very same high school her mother did.

On her first day, Maggie befriends a group; Andy, Haley, Chaz and Darrell, who invite her to a party. On their first outing together, the gang meet veterinary technician Sue Ann (Spencer) outside the liquor store and persuade her to pick them up some booze. All is fine for the kids until the po po turns up to where they’re hanging out.

It seems Andy’s dad Ben has found out about the drinking and sends an officer to arrest his son. Ben runs a successful security business in town but due to the officer’s relationship to Andy’s Dad (he thinks he’s a dick), he lets the kids off. All this is convenient for Sue Ann though as now the kids don’t have a drinking spot and when they approach her for more supplies a few days later, she leads them to her place.

Here she tells the kids they can more or less do what they want in her basement as long as they a) don’t take the Lord’s name in vain and b) NEVER go upstairs. Ooooooh!

When Sue Ann, now known as ‘Ma’, gets a little too into her new friends and their lives, they start to back off. What’s her agenda? And what’s on her mind when she drifts off every now and again into a deep reverie?

Well! There’s a lot going on beneath the surface and behind closed doors. Spencer’s performance is suitably unhinged and I loved every moment she was on the screen. She has the range to flip flop from lovely (and relatively in control) to maniacal in a heartbeat. It’s also so fricking refreshing to have a plus-size lead and a WOC at that. The role of Ma is delicious and it suits Spencer so well.

Booksmart’s Diana Silvers is good as Maggie and of course it’s always amazing to see Juliette Lewis on screen.

While Ma’s behaviour grows increasingly erratic and bizarre, we learn more about what has brought us here and needless to say, things are about to get real for a couple of the characters. Whether or not the punishments fit the crime is up to you to decide but I think I’m with Ma.

I have one question though – and *Spoiler* – Ma dispatches with someone at one point – and nobody ever refers to it again. Even though it’s done in broad daylight and no effort is made to cover it up. Eh?

I enjoyed myself, and laughed and cringed a lot but the truth is, the script is horrible and the film isn’t as good as it could have been, especially given its Oscar-winning lead. And I guessed most of the story a third of the way through.

Film details:

Ma
Year: 2019
Director: Tate Taylor
IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
My Rating: 3/5

What are you watching?