A Simple Favor irked me after my first viewing. After three more viewings, I’m starting to get the appeal. What could easily be dismissed as a ladies’ mystery movie reveals itself upon multiple viewings. It’s about more than suburban mom jealousy of lives out of grasp. This film is about what happens when you step out of your boundaries. It’s one thing to dream big, but it’s another to actively put yourself in something that destroys your worldview.
This is quite possible the most gorgeous looking film I’ve seen this year. Well, one of them. Who would have thought that a Paul Feig film that walks the line between mystery and Lifetime Original Movie could pop like this? Relating back to my initial point, the film has to be a visual buffet because we need to be indoctrinated into Lively’s world. Anna Kendrick is the audience surrogate and well bare ties to this quiet lady.
Blake Lively is an actress that I haven’t quite figured out. A lot is asked of the charter member of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Not only does she have to provide a classy upscale suburban allure, she has to be cooler than everyone in the room. High-class charm is a commodity these days and many actors can’t make it translate on film. What Lively does is more in absence than application.
When her Emily disappears, it’s not because we got some brutal traumatic performance. It’s more based in what we saw in an Emily filled life. Much like Anna Kendrick, we’re knocking down doors and trying to find out what happened to our coolest BFF. However, we all have to learn why Emily doesn’t want photos taken or how she’s screwing over her husband. Buying into this world and the desperate need for something greater is what makes Lively’s understated performance that much more powerful.
Anna Kendrick has a fanbase and I respect that. However, I’ve yet to see anything from her in the last 5 years that demands my attention. Is she great hosting on SNL or funny on Twitter? Sure. But, the film roles leave a lot to be desired. This role seems like she’s finally turning that corner and giving us what we saw way back during Up in the Air. Honestly, the reason why the AndersonVision opinion changed on this family is simple. I could finally empathize with these characters.
The 4K transfer is upscaled, but it still looks amazing. The Dolby TrueHD plays up the moments it needs to shine without drowning out dialogue. Still, I had to go to the source to check how the film was shot. The upscale job is so good that I thought it was true 4K for a week.
A Simple Favor is available now!