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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 29, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Magic realism — of a sort — at the movies

You how sometimes you’re watching a movie and something happens that just doesn’t make any sense? I don’t mean a twist in a screenplay that makes no sense (that’s pretty much a given), or a performance that’s implausible, but just something unimportant happening onscreen that’s mystifying because you don’t see how, short of magic, it could have happened. Here’s an example, from the thriller “Closed Circuit,” which opened in theaters yesterday. (By the way, if anyone’s going to this movie, please watch for this scene and tell me if I’m mistaken — maybe I missed something? Minor spoiler alert, if you want to stop reading now and come back later.) Anyway. So, Rebecca Hall plays a lawyer with a posh London apartment, and the movie has made a point of showing us that when she gets home, the first thing she does is take off her high-heeled shoes. Late in the movie, she goes home and something happens at her apartment that causes her to flee — we see her running down a sidewalk in her torn-up dark stockings and bare feet. So, she’s got no shoes, right? It’s late at night, and she frantically races to meet somebody somewhere (I’m being vague so as to be as non-spoiler-y as possible) right away, and things happen — and suddenly she has sneakers on. Same costume, same night, pretty much continuous time, and she definitely doesn’t return to the apartment — and yet suddenly she has shoes, because the movie continues in real time and she’s outdoors and it would have been awkward for her not to have them. So I’m wondering: Are we supposed to assume that she made a stop, mid-flight, at an all-night Nike store? Did she have those shoes concealed on her person somehow? Were they collapsible? I realize I’m fixating on this to a ridiculous extent — but hey, the movie wasn’t very good and I had to fixate on something, in the way that sometimes, during a bad romantic comedy, all I can think of is “There is no way that her hair would still look that good.” Do you ever do this too?

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