The variable I didn't take into account when planning a year of Movie Mondays is post-weekend fatigue. I am a basket case on Mondays, no matter how much sleep I get, no matter what I have to do, a swamp of typographical errors and disheveled hair and sentences that end "I'm sorry, what was I talking about?"
If I'd been up for a movie in the theater tonight, I'd have gone with something exceedingly simple. It's Complicated or Fantastic Mr. Fox or, God help me, even The Blind Side. But the goal of sitting in a cool dark space for two hours without falling asleep was completely unattainable, and the fact that I'd promised to watch the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother with a friend (priorities, people) made watching a full-length film at home AND getting a decent night's sleep out of the question, too.
I was a smart, smart woman when I inserted that "short film" caveat last week.
So. Right. I went to the iTunes store, and I start to browse, and I immediately got stumped. I didn't want anything too light since that feels like cheating, so I instantly ruled out a slew of Pixar stuff and Ferdinand the Bull (big ups to the bull and everything just, not, you know, today). Then again, I wasn't up for anything esoteric -- no lingering shots of wineglasses, no French soundtrack, no mothers staring into space as babies wail unconsoled. Or whatever.
I ended up settling on The Little Match Girl, the Disney adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. It (according to wikipedia, repository of all human knowledge) was originally going to be a part of the remake of Fantasia, but then got scrapped, and was ultimately (apparently) released as a special feature on The Little Mermaid DVD. So. Yes. Animated. But Oscar nominated! Full of pathos! Respectable! Just 366 seconds long!
AND TRAGIC AS ALL HELL. From about 0:45 on, my entire thought process was "Please just buy a match. Seriously. Okay. BUY A MATCH NOW PLEASE. The kid has no shoes. In the snow. In Bulgaria. BUY A MATCH FROM HER." And then she sinks into her imagination, and then she dies. It's lovely -- the orchestrations are beautiful, and the color palette seems rich, despite being limited to greys and browns....but I don't know. It's rare for me to question the point of something, and it's rarer for me to take things to task for being sad, but really: what's the point of six minutes' worth of sorrow for sorrow's sake, even if it's lovely?
Next week: a real movie. In a theater. Maybe. SUSPENSE!