“The bottom line is, we’re all prisoners of the universe.”
An endearing, gorgeous, at times hilarious and weird epic that’s as concerned with the journeys of its central characters as it is with the hyper development and modernization of a country.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Being a low-tier member in a group of gangsters seems pretty chill, for the most part, and it may lead to a cinematic journey of soul searching for me and my destined counterpart so I fully support it as a career path.”
“Whatif all those things I did were the things that led me here?”
A journey of self-discovery as successful as the memoir on which it’s based thanks to the hyper-focused, personal narrative and a grounded performance by Reese Witherspoon, who is completely game for everything from selling the laborious journey of self-discovery to making everyone cringe when she rips off her prop toenail.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Simon and Garfunkel’s El Condor Pasa features as a sort of theme of the film, reflecting Cheryl’s journey and feelings throughout, which would very much be an intelligent observation I made if I hadn’t read it in an article before seeing the movie so that I could sound smart to you and all my friends. In short, I’m a fraud.”
“Tupac might be a political leader if he was alive, but then again, Tupac might be in a Tyler Perry movie right now. He might be the bad boyfriend in the Tyler Perry movie. I would hope he’s a senator, but he might be kicking Jill Scott down a flight of stairs.”
Captures the energy and substance of Chris Rock’s best stand up while adding the considerate and introspective eye Rock showed in his 2009 doc Good Hair.
My VHS cover pull quote: “I can’t come up with a top five of anything without spending twelve hours screaming in my head, but most everyone in this movie had their top five rappers immediately on hand. Perhaps I don’t know myself. Perhaps I am unknowable. Who am I?”