Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
My Rating System
7/10: Very good/Really good
6/10: Good/Above average
4/10: Bad/Really bad
3/10: Incredibly bad
2/10: Absolutely atrocious
1/10: One of the worst things I've ever seen
Celine and Julie Go Boating is a hilarious, incredibly surreal, and hugely enjoyable film by Rivette (my first from him), one of my more anticipated directors. And after having seen this, I'm looking forward to Out 1 more than ever. C&J is a really fun, imaginative movie. This is one of the few films I could say I felt enchanted by. It has a childlike innocence that I don't think anything else has captured. The best word I could use to describe the film is "magical". From the nonsensical plot, to the dreamlike feel, to the childlike purity, it has magical written all over it! The two leads, Celine and Julie are super likable characters, they're easily one of the best parts of the movie. They tie the whole thing together and are really fun to watch. Describing the plot is pointless because it's basically just a series of strange scenes that wouldn't make any sense just talking about them. I mean, even knowing the proper context they don't make sense on a surface level. In this, it's truly ingenious.
I love the surrealism, especially in the last 20 minutes. There are so many questions it leaves us, incredibly mysterious. One of these days I'm going to find my own interpretation. However, regardless of deeper meanings, it's such a great experience it wouldn't really matter. Finding my own meaning would certainly enhance the film, but it's not necessary for me to adore it as I do. There are some points brought up by others that I wanted to look over. Some people have said that the only good thing about the movie are the two main leads and everything else was plain tedious, which is understandable but not necessarily something I agree with. The style definitely isn't for everybody and I even have some minor gripes with it (I know they're using the French New Wave style of editing and being experimental, but were the scenes where a character was walking or doing something and they would have a jump cut every second really necessary?). Plus, if you take into account the childishness, writing style, and visual style, it's completely understandable why someone would think that.
That brings me to the next thing a lot of people bring up, the film is visually unappealing. Yeah, the film is without a doubt lacking in the visual department, but I wouldn't say the film needed to be very visually appealing to begin with. In fact, a lot of films don't have to be visually appealing to be good. Just look at PTA's Magnolia (ok, maybe not the best example seeing that a lot of people are split on it), it's a masterpiece but definitely not very good in the visual department. Good visuals aren't necessary when telling a good story, they simply add to it. C&J had so many other great things going for it that I didn't care. Besides, it wasn't really bad. Not very appealing but certainly not so bad that it ruined the movie. Again though, if you look at it as a problem then that's fine. Finally, there are some who say the film is just overall obnoxious and boring. Well, that just comes down to personal taste. If you like it, you like it, if you don't, you don't.
but it did happen
It's messy, it's flawed, and it's melodramatic, and that's what makes it one of the best films ever made. I had very high expectations for Magnolia since PTA at the time was one of my favorite film-makers (he still is), and it did not disappoint. Most of the performances were great, the score was fantastic (the use of Aimee Mann was beautiful), and it was one of the most emotional rides I've ever had watching a movie. In fact, I wouldn't say it was much of a movie, it was an experience.
I was completely immersed throughout the entire thing. So much so that after it ended I hadn't even realized it was 3 hours already. I was invested in just about all of the story lines. While some are better than others, all were good in their own right and I'm glad the movie didn't feel like too much of a disjointed mess. It's brilliantly written, PTA managed to blend both drama and melodrama masterfully. It also has one of my favorite endings of all time. The use of Aimee Mann's Save Me was just perfect and Claudia's smile is a beautiful yet haunting image that has really resonated with me over time. Oh, and the frog sequence was one of the most beautifully nonsensical moments in all of cinema, just like the film itself is.
I absolutely love Magnolia, I love its themes, I love its characters, I love everything it represents, and I love Paul Thomas Anderson for taking such a huge risk by making it. There's a sizable group of people who dislike or even downright hate it and that's completely understandable. There's some cringe-worthy dialogue and it's self- indulgent. However, I just can't help but love it even when, sometimes, I feel I shouldn't. Personal stories/movies are usually my favorite stories/movies and this is just about as personal as it gets. It's a masterpiece, in its own Magnolia-y way.