I was going to try to sit down and write a nice, normal, academic review of Steven Soderburgh's new film "Bubble". However, I can't. Instead of a well thought out treatise on the nature of the cinematography and the effectiveness of the spare Elliot Smith-like score I just keep coming back to the fact that I know these people. Not "know" them in the sense that we hold hands and take windy walks together, but KNOW them from a shared history. Perhaps an example will help: about 10 minutes into the film there is a scene where two people sit in a dingy break room, eat fast food and talk about nothing. Their voices hold no emotion, their faces are slack and vacant. These are people beaten down by the fact they are not living but merely surviving. They, however, don't acknowledge or even understand this fact. The thing is I've sat in break rooms just like that one, in factories just like that one, heard conversations just like that one. There is no artifice in this art. The sad truth is in these places life is bleak, boring, and hard. There seems to be a consensus among the media that a life of manual labor breeds quiet, contemplative people who see beauty in the mundane and irony in their own situation. That they somehow understand their role in society and choose to continue filling it. Either that or they are full of passion and dreams that they hate their repressive lives and are going to use their talents to escape the cycle of poverty that everyone around them has accepted. Neither of these romantic views are true though, they are both condescending to an entire class of working poor.
Until 6 years ago that was my life, I had resigned myself to it and accepted it. Then when I least expected it (that's always the way it is right?)(but really it was when I LEAST expected it) I met the woman who changed everything for me.
I seem to be rambling further and further down the emotional road. Maybe I can go back and watch the movie again and come back to write a review that would actually support my stance that this is an challenging, insightful, and amazing movie. Something a little less gut-level-navel-gazey is in order I think.