The Curator of Schlock #255 by Jeff Shuster
It’s pretty good.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I made some of that Hobo Chicken in the microwave made popular by Frank Whaley in the John Hughes’ classic Career Opportunities. I played Smurfs on my ColecoVision for the better part of the day. Still haven’t managed to get Smurfette naked. Maybe one of these days. Oh, and I watched Invasion U.S.A. again. Nothing says Christmas like Chuck Norris killing bad guys. You know, it really can be a wonderful life.
2018 is coming to a close. My grand experiment of covering movies from the 2010s has been trying. This is not going to be remembered as a great decade for cinema. We did get an amazing sequel to Blade Runner. I obsessed over Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The Blackcoat’s Daughter was a pleasant discovery. Maybe one just has to dig a little deeper to find the true gems of this decade. 2017’s Wilson from director Craig Johnson is one of those gems.
The movie is a character study about a man named Wilson (Woody Harrelson) who just happens to be the most obnoxious man alive. There were times while watching this movie when I wanted to reach through the screen so I could punch Wilson in the face. He seems to be an amalgamation of every obnoxious man I’ve ever known: a man who thinks he funny when he’s clearly, a man who thinks he’s smart when his intelligence is below average, a man who thinks he’s wise when he’s clearly a fool.
Wilson goes up to random strangers and starts conversations with them when they clearly don’t want to be bothered. Don’t call the guy busily typing on his laptop an asshole when he tells you he’s too busy to talk. Don’t bug the guy on bus trying to sleep, ask him about his career, and then scream at him for “working for the oligarchs.” Do not purposely cause a fender-bender with a woman you met at a pet store as a means to ask her out on a date. And I know how you hate how everyone is glued to their smart phones and their computers, ignoring the world around them, but the truth is, you’re just an illiterate when it comes to modern technology.
Loneliness gets the better of Wilson. He searches for his ex-wife, Pippi (Laura Dern), who was a prostitute and a junkie when he last knew her. When Wilson finds Pippi, she’s cleaned herself up and is working as a waitress at a fancy restaurant. They reconnect and Wilson finds out that Pippi gave birth to his child, but gave that baby girl up for adoption. Wilson then goes on a quest to locate his daughter.
Through a private investigator, he tracks her down, reveals himself to her, and takes her on road trips. This wouldn’t be a problem if she wasn’t a minor and legally the daughter of other people!
Wilson gets charged with kidnapping, goes to jail, annoys some Neo Nazis while in prison, and gets smashed in the face with a lunch tray. This is a brilliant movie.
The graphic novel is also worth checking out. Happy New Year!
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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