it was undoubtedly, one of the most stunning movies of this summer. i should come clean and say that sarah polley is one of my favourite writers and directors - i was raised on the road to avonlea and i am a total lover all canadiana - she's one of our finest gems. and she's done it again. the film is shot in a way that made me feel melancholy for the homeland. really any film that features both leonard cohen and video killed the radio star is a clear winner. and this is. if you've not seen it, take yourself. sit alone and contemplate relationship and love and how we deal with our boredom, our broken places, our constant desire for more.
the premise of the film is that margot meets daniel while on an airplane. sharing a cab back from the airport it becomes clear that daniel lives across the street and margot, is married. minor items. there is chemistry between these two. there is also chemistry between margot and her husband of five years, lou. margot and daniel begin an emotional affair, and ultimately, margot leaves lou for the excitement of 'something new.'
it was the very best of films, despite and because it didn't end how i wanted. i wanted for margot to stay in her marriage, work it through with lou and realise that happily ever after, doesn't really happen in real life. instead well, real life happens. which is both happy and sometimes, not so happy.
and really, isn't this a reflection on our current culture - where we say, my happiness is paramount? my feeling alive and contented and excited is more important than sticking to what i've promised? we justify this with naff sentiments of 'deserving to be happy' and 'doing what's best for me'. this film is an excellent critique on the ways in which none of that actually matters. that in the process of pursuing personal happiness so often others are hurt, and in the end we're not all that much happier than when we started.
i took away three thoughts from this film.
one - marriage is fragile.
i thought this again and again while watching. and really it is so fragile. it requires so much care and protection. it requires a daily choice. marriage is never about me, it is always at minimum, about us, and often, more often than not, about my husband. marriage can be decimated in moments. in small decisions. to continue a friendship that really has more to it. to reconnect with an old flame. to spend a night out with the girls flirting with other men. these are small decisions. in and of themselves, potentially harmless, possibly even justifiable. in reality, these small decisions impact the marriage, change it, subtly. changes have consequences.
let the peace of christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. none of this going off and doing your own thing. col 3: 15
two - new becomes old.
there's a scene in the film when margot and her friends are expressing the desire for something 'new' rather than the old they know - how they miss the excitement, the passion, the newness of something new. an older woman overhears this conversation and says, wisely "the new becomes old." and how true. we think that the new will be better, more passionate, filled with excitement and life and everything that we don't have right now. but in truth, the new, it loses its shine. eventually, it becomes sitting on the couch, watching the news and going to bed. this sounds and reads as incredibly boring. maybe it is. but it's also life. it's what you do with this this 'boring', how you make it interesting, how you redeem it, that matters.
enjoy the wife you married as a young man! lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose - don't ever quit taking delight in her body. never take her love for granted! why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills...? pro 5:18-20
three - do the harder thing.
i'm not a hater of my generation, but really - as a culture we are terrible at this. my generation particularly. when things get difficult, we try to duck it. we shirk responsibility. we hide. we run. we insist that 'it was just too hard.' what happened to doing the harder thing? not because it's harder, but because in some (many) cases, it's the right thing to do? we've lost the art of sticking it out and trying again. we jump from one thing to the next, we change jobs rather than developing our position, we change churches because it just no longer 'feeds' us. we break up and break down because we'd rather not really put in the effort. we want the quick fix. but actually, for the big things, for the small things for that matter, there is no quick fix. marriage is just a little bit of hard work. that doesn't mean it's hard, but it's certainly not easy.
be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. col 3:13