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nobody

2015-03-02 - 10:15 a.m.

We watched Mr. Nobody to the sound of Cookie purring and cracking sunflower seeds. I won't say he held on to the end -- the film should have been edited down to two hours and really did run too long -- but he gave it his best shot.

So here we have a boy passed over by the angels of forgetfulness before he was even born. For reasons of fucking magic, this allowed him some knowledge about the future, much good it did him, since the intermediate steps kept changing. True, the future was completely predictable -- he got very old, was trapped in a hospital bed, and there was a debate about when to turn off the machines. For much of his life, his knowledge of the future (such as it was) seemed entirely worthless when it came to helping him reach an intelligent decision about...well...anything really.

Very late in the movie it is suggested that there is no such thing as a wrong choice. There is only life. Which may be rather chilling if you prefer to think of yourself as an advanced intelligence with the power to make decisions...but, thinking back, the beginning of the film is the pigeon in the box struggling to get the food. We can all agree that if the pigeon makes a mistake and dies, there is no real blame to be attached to the pigeon who probably didn't ask to be stuck in the box in the first place. There is just life and death and at some point the pigeon will come to a place where it's struggling to achieve something far beyond its pay grade and we would not think of blaming the pigeon for failing to transcend...

There's also a sneaky comment about "pigeon superstition" -- similar to the example I always use of the rooster crows in the morning and thinks he made the sun come up. So much for man's search for meaning...

I also don't understand how a man can live to be 118, and yet the only interesting years of his life are when he's 9, 15, and 34? I just read a comment by someone who said it was essentially this boy's fantasies after he was trapped and paralyzed in the motorcycle accident at age 15. In that case, OK, it becomes impossible for him to imagine what life is like as a middle aged man at the peak of his powers...although, having once been a helpless baby, he can certainly imagine life as a nearly helpless extremely old man. Hmmm.

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