“Third Person” Straight to Netflix

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SPOILER ALERT:

If someone loved the 2014 film “Third Person,” please raise a white flag and tell me why.

Looking at the gross of a little over $1 million, clearly it went straight to Netflix for a reason.

With a reported budget of $28 million, it’s kind of shocking it wasn’t released in the theater. That’s a big budget for an independent film for a wide release on… Netflix.

I appreciated the film “Crash” which also was written and directed by Paul Haggis.  And he wrote “Million Dollar Baby,” which was a great film as well.

Separate from this film, I normally enjoy the talents of actors Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Kim Basinger, Adrien Brody, Mila Kunis and James Franco.  But something was off for me on this piece.  So much of it seemed manufactured to incite hatred for certain characters.

The thing that bothered me the most was that the male characters were flawed but they seemed to get a pass for their atrocious behavior.  The female characters, who were also deeply flawed, seemed to suffer from absolute character assassination.  What each one of the female characters did was seemingly unforgivable. Just like the world we live in, the male characters seemed to win despite their obvious flaws.

At the end of the film, I sat on my couch and shook my head for 30 seconds before ejecting the disk from the machine and putting it back into the envelope to ship back to Netflix.

Sigh… no wonder the world is so tough on women.  When you see this sort of propaganda against women and the situations they find themselves in, no wonder men and women do not support other women in the workforce or in life.  Women are always judged more harshly than men.

I had a conversation with a man in the film industry the other day and he told me why there are only a few women directors in the film industry.  He explained that women don’t have the experience and they’re not trusted to direct a film.  Why is that?

That conversation spurred further discussion in the office about male and female film directors.

There are a bunch of successful male film directors.  That list would be long.

Who are the top female film directors in this industry who command respect?  Let’s see a few of the female directors we came up with…

Kathryn Bigelow “The Hurt Locker”

Jane Campion “The Piano”

Sofia Coppola “Lost in Translation”

Nora Ephron “Sleepless in Seattle” (note: sadly, she died in 2012)

Elizabeth Banks with “Pitch Perfect 2” now joins that short list.

There are other female film directors who have had a few chances, but they seem to disappear from the director’s list of consideration after a project gets a greenlight at a studio.

Throwing stones at all of the major female characters in a film only further influences society in a negative way.

If one of the characters had to have sex with their own parent, why does it always have to be a woman?  If one of the characters had to intentionally injure, nearly kill their own child, why does it always have to be a woman?   But if you’re a man who let’s your son drown because you need to take a phone call from your mistress, you get a pass?!  And if you’re a man who sleeps with your own daughter, it’s simply a passing flaw to be ignored?

Yep… that’s the approach.  And it infuriated me.

Haggis said the audience will either hate this film or love it.  And maybe, garnering that sort of passionate reaction was the whole point of Haggis making this film.

That leaves me with one question.

Was it worth $28 million to infuriate most of your audience? The answer to that is obvious.

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