Tuesday Timeshift #11: Winged Creatures

Winged Creatures is an ensemble film by Australian director Rowan Woods (Little Fish, The Boys) that charts the interaction between a group of strangers in the aftermath of a shooting in an LA diner. It’s a film that initially threw me, till I saw the light brothers and sisters!

As we headed home afterwards, my movie-going compatriot asked me what I thought and I gave it a giant “meh”. That got us talking quick smart because he thought it was fabulous. Some of the characters (not all, to be fair) seems like such archetypes – the trailer trash waitress who’s a single mum and tries to shag everything in sight (Kate Beckinsale), the working class middle-aged man who feels a failure (Forest Whitacker) and the doctor who poisons his wife for no good reason (Guy Pearce) just made no sense to me. Nor did the creepy kid (Dakota Fanning).

Then my wise and wizened friend said something that stopped me in my tracks. The lights came on and suddenly, there was someone at home. To mix a metaphor or two. My perceptions as to what the characters were doing was so completely wrong. As a person who sees MANY films, I sat down in that comfy chair with my tank of popcorn and watery cola… and a bucket-load of preconceptions about what certain archetypes do and say and why they do and say these things. In doing so, I missed the subtlety… the gentle picking away at the scab of these supposed cliches and seeing the truth underneath.

With blinkers off, I can say I too am a convert. Winged Creatures is so layered and delicate. Nothing is dropped up in your lap ready for you to swallow down whole. It’s thoughtful and interesting and requires the viewer to set aside their own prejudices and see the individuals within. In hindsight, a marvellous film!

Oh, yeah. It looks real purdy too.

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