We’re as addicted to end-of-year list-making as your average bloggers. But after a while, we get sick of seeing the same names over and over again. Hey, did you hear about that Kanye album? How about The Social Network — pretty great, huh? That’s why Flavorpill is launching a new yearly tradition: The Underrated Awards, honoring our favorite people and things from the cultural universe that we feel have been criminally under-appreciated. Our third installment covers the film world, from movies that never achieved the buzz (or box office receipts) they deserved to actors whose performances went overlooked in favor of their co-stars’.
Life During Wartime
Todd Solondz’s sequel to Happiness, his merciless deconstruction of suburban America, may be his best film yet — although it has the sharpness of his earlier work, he also finally shows some empathy for his characters, and that gives them dimension. The movie is as depressing as any of his works to date, but it gets at a certain brand of contemporary hopelessness, too. Also remarkable is the film’s cast, many playing roles that an entirely different group of actors originated in Happiness.