Charlene and I watched About Schmidt last night. Some random reflections:
I was amazed at how much I related to Warren Schmidt. If you haven’t seen the movie, he sees himself as trapped and surrounded by absurdity, but feels he can do little about it except politely conform. It’s not a good thing that I identified with the Schmidt character. There are some movies with nudity in them that are anything but erotic. Schindler’s List is one of them. This is another. When Schmidt retires, and all his boxed papers are thrown out, and some brash young kid takes over, I didn’t know whether to identify more with the brash young kid or to Schmidt. I guess that makes me officially middle aged. People really don’t know how to respond to grief. When Schmidt’s wife dies, somebody gives him a sympathy card that made me laugh. Some of them are that bad. The platitudes get pretty wearying. The aging process can be pretty scary. From the first scene, I was drawn in by how beautifully the movie was crafted. It was not only a very moving film, but it was artfully done. I had to watch the opening few scenes twice. So much was said with so few words. If you watch the DVD, don’t forget to watch some of the extras. The short films on the Woodmen Insurance building were great, especially (I think) number 4.