After a couple beers at Simon’s, Charles and I meandered back to his lovely Foster apartment and looked through a box of movies. Charles said we should watch this Identity movie. I had never heard of it, but I was totally, totally blown away. It was so good! It was so well-done! Man, what was Martin Scorsese thinking when he made Shutter Island!? He could have just watched this and been like, “Oh man, my movie sucks compared to the complexities and nuanced acting of John Cusack.” Shutter Island is a “punch-line” movie, as Charles puts it. So is this one. But it is so, so much more! So here’s what happens. There is a crazy guy who killed a bunch of people a while back. He’s going to be executed tomorrow, but there is a middle-of-the-night hearing and it is shrouded in mystery. The hearing part of the movie is spliced with many different people in different forms of distress who all end up stranded at a motel in the middle of Nevada. The circumstances are strange but what is really going on is all the crazy murder guy’s personalities are getting together and have a face-off. They are dying one by one, but THE AUDIENCE DOESN’T KNOW THAT IT IS IN HIS MIND!!! They just think the movie is about a bunch of people in a rainstorm stopping at a hotel who keep dying. One by one, they die, not necessarily in the order that I will list them: the escaped convict dies with a bat shoved down his throat, the recently married yes-pregnant-no-pregnant couple die, the movie star- diva lady dies and her head is found thudding in the dryer. The evil cop-actually-convict dies in a face-off with John Cusak who is the had-emotional-trauma-and-had-to-quit-but-still-has-strong-crime-instincts-cop. John Cusak also dies. So everyone is dead except for the prostitute who made a bunch of money and is on her way back home to Florida to grow oranges. The prostitute is played by Amanda Peet. She wears a knock-off juicy hoodie, and other types of clothes that I wear on a regular basis. But I guess she’s a prostitute. The funny part is, when she comes to the motel, she is immediately pegged as a prostitute by the motel-manager-who-lost-all-his-money-in-las-vegas-and-found-real-manager-dead-and-took-over-the-job. He says mean things to her. And it was her shoe that caused an accident with the (seemingly) happy family driving in their mini van. They get a flat tire after running over the heel of her shoe which flew out during the crazy rain storm. THEN the dad goes out to fix it and little Timmy hangs out in the car. He does some weird communication with a hand on the glass window with his mom, and the mom, who is outside, get whammed by a car driven by….JOHN CUSACK! Whoa. So that’s how those guys all end up at the Motel. The mom is doing ok, until she DIES! The dad is doing OK until HE DIES after getting hit by a car driven by Motel manager-not-manager who is in a temporary state of hysteria. He is a casualty of the earlier face-off and then it’s just Peet. By killing all of his personalities except for harmless Peet, the-orange-prostitute-getting-a-second-chance, the people defending the killer say that he is now harmless.
So the guy, the killer is driving with his psychoanalyst and he is Peet, who has made it (in his mind) to her orange grove. She’s, like, taking things off the clothes line, and is about to start doing some hoe-ing (no pun intended. I really wrote that and then realized what I had done) but what does she find in the dirt? A KEY!!!!! AHHHHHH!
I should pause here, at the climactic moment to tell you the significance of the key. Each person who died in the Motel had a key on them. It was a sort of count down: each key found was in consecutive decreasing order. Then, in the middle of a Florida orange grove, Amanda Peet hoes up a key with the number 1 on it. OMG SHE’S THE LAST ONE TO DIE!!! Then she looks, and IT’S LITTLE TIMMY! IT WAS HIM ALL ALONG! HE WAS THE ONE KILLING EVERYONE!!! He says, “whores don’t get a second chance.” And then he kills her. Meanwhile in the van where the killer and his psychoanalyst are driving, the killer whispers, “Whores don’t get a second chance.” “What did you say?” says the psychoanalyst and he turns around and opens the protective window. Then the killer kills him. We see the van swerve off the road. The end.
I just thought of this. This movie is what would happen if Final Destination and Shutter Island had sex and had a baby. This movie would be both the sexiness of that couple and it would be the shiny part of their baby’s eyes.
Okay, so this movie is totally mesmerizing because Parker Posey just spazes out the whole time. It’s hard to put that into words, so instead I will put it into videos. Though, this lovely blog puts it into photos! Parker throws parties in her apartment to make her money. Then the police come and she goes to jail. Her godmother bails her out and then Parker goes to the library where her godmother works to ask her for more money. She talks really loud in the library, and says to some guy who freaks out about a certain book order, “What a dick.” Her godmother says, “He’s not a dick, he’s a patron.”
She breaks up with her current boyfriend, (who is a young Sabertooth from the X-Men) because he pees in her shower. She lives with a broke but aspiring DJ. Then she becomes a librarian and gets with a hot Lebanese guy. They do it in the library, too. Here is a video of her fantasizing.
When Parker Posey gets forced into working at the library with her godmother, a woman comes over and asks where to find “Origins of Species” but Parker Posey hears this:
She calls her job at the library “Cell Block H meets 4H Club” what does that even mean? Meanwhile, her DJ friend goes to try and get a job at this exclusive club. He misunderstands the boss and thinks she wants him to “imitate a cat puking.”
Then, after the godmother gets angry, Parker Posey is insulted enough to learn the Dewey Decimal system. I also fantasize about coming up with better responses to mean things people say to me, or just better responses in general.
Parker Posey smokes a J and, after a few drinks at some dive bar, begins to learn the system. She says “Yes mama! I know what going on, yes I do.” It’s a good moment for her, and she understands the wonderful ingeniousness of the dreaded Dewey Decimal System. This is spliced with the DJ’s premier at the club.
Parker Posey realizes that this is what she loves. She sometimes sits still long enough to read. She also organizes all of the DJ’s records and cross lists them. There is a lovely, most amazing montage ever of Parker Posey sauntering up to the falafel guy and ordering the same thing in different outfits over and over again. She takes her job so seriously that this happens:
Things end happily. Her gay friend finds Carl who actually isn’t named Carl, and Parker Posey gets her librarian job back. But she does have to spaz out a lot more. Shoving balloons out of the way or seeing a lizard on someone’s shoulder and making a face. I will conclude with this video: