Film, OldVenue

Looking Back: 2014’s best inanimate objects in film

Ben Affleck’s chin in Gone Girl
In a movie all about blissful romance turning deathly sour, it is Ben Affleck’s chin-dimple (or “face-ass” in Chandler Bing lingo) that winds up personifying the major themes of the entire movie, Rosamund Pike’s Amy Dunne noting on their first meeting Nick’s “villainous chin”, an appendage he covers up with a two-finger salute every time he assures her he is telling the truth. What is initially cute and charming soon becomes a sign of distrust and a charming get-out for any argument, setting in motion a series of knife-happy twists.

Scarlett Johansson’s cake in Under the Skin
Under the Skin marked the second of two major Scarlett Johansson performances in 2014 in which she played a barely-there outsider overwhelmed by newfound feelings of humanity. But, unlike Her’s ponderous climax, Under the Skin travels in a more downbeat direction, never exemplified greater than a scene in which Johansson’s unnamed extra-terrestrial stares down and anxiously places into her mouth a bite of chocolate cake. But despite her strange aching to feel, she can’t quite keep it down, spitting it out back onto her plate. This world is a strange one, and one that sometimes leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Jonah Hill’s everything in The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is a toast to gluttony — a loud, staggering exercise in excess, all about terrible people with endless funds being worshipped like Gods. So it’s fitting that its unsung heroes are so small, like the poor goldfish Jonah Hill swallows whole during an office party just because he feels like it, or the close-up shot of his shrivelled, prosthetic peen as he jerks off at the sight of some presumably hired models in bikinis. Or his weird fake teeth. Practically everything going into or hanging off the guy’s body.

The oven in Life After Beth
It sort of speaks to Life After Beth’s cruminess that its aggressively talented cast, among them John C. Reilly, Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines and Aubrey Plaza, ultimately get completely overshadowed by a household appliance. But the oven hapless Dane DeHaan ties his zombified girlfriend to in the final act of the horror comedy makes for a hilarious sight gag, Plaza stumbling around with it strapped to her back, and DeHaan discovering how well it can come in handy when having a romantic heart-to-heart with a snarling, drooling hell-beast.


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adamwhite Adam edits Venue, graduates in 2015, has incomprehensible accent, writes a bit.

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May 2022
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