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May 25, 2007


Nice post, and timely for me as I just saw the movie for the first time. I enjoyed it too. Since I'm no longer in danger of ruining the movie for anyone who is reading here, and since the movie really got me thinking too, I want to ask your thoughts on this.

I had written a much longer blurb, but I will avoid that for now and only say this: I have now come to the conclusion the hero of the movie is Miss California. Without her character, the movie is only tracing the path of discovery from "we are losers" to "the measuring stick is flawed" so we aren't losers since "loser" has no meaning; and true freedom is found in recognizing the measuring stick is just a construct and not being taken by it any longer.

But with Miss California, the movie rises above saying "beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder." Because she is not a loser from the start, has satisfied the measuring stick, celebrates what is truly beautiful (the one other person outside the family who is celebrating their romp on the stage) -- she answers the question of what is worthy of praise. And to the extent Olive images her beauty, she is also beautiful. There are fragments of beauty in other characters, to which Olive is drawn, but they are echoes of a song she has never heard -- until she meets Miss California. There's a lot more going on, but I think she's the key to unlocking the movie.

There's my take (after a few cuts).
What do you think?

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