The Details (2011)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for suburban married ennui

Take a Drink: whenever the raccoons strike

Take a Drink: for liquor or weed

Take a Drink: whenever one of the elements from the intro comes into play

Do a Shot: every time Tobey cheats

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –

I enjoyed FX’s Fargo way more than I expected I would, and by the end of its run it had cemented its place as one of the few finest shows on TV this year. Its only downside is that I now have to wait a year to scratch that itch… or do I?

The Details is about a typical WASPy doctor (Tobey Maguire) whose battle against the raccoons tearing up his lawn (plus, say, his infidelities and spinelessness) spirals into sex, murder, and suburban malaise.

Raccoon-Fur-Costume

Don’t raccoons always?

A Toast

I was not expecting much when this randomly showed up in my queue, but it didn’t take long into The Details for the (TV- this is no Coens Brothers-style flick) Fargo to come to mind. It has the same arch, incredibly dark comic tone, juxtaposed against its too-cheerful score, and follows a similar fall from mundane grace for a spineless, morally deficient man.

The principal difference between Maguire’s character and Martin Freeman’s shockingly blackhearted Lester Nygaard, though, is that there is some undercurrent of human decency running through him. It’s not that he’s unaware of right and wrong, or even really wants to choose the latter over the former. It’s that when presented with two choices, he’ll always take the easier one and hope that it all works out later. It never does.

lester-nygaard

In contrast, this fucker lost his sheep’s clothes rather quickly.

Maguire is great- simultaneously weak-willed, personable, and simmering with well-hidden rage, but for me the Best in Show is the utterly heartbreaking Dennis Haysbert. Writer and director Jacob Aaron Estes brings more than just a well-rounded script and realistic characters as well. His direction is energetic, especially his use of fast-forward montages, and his long montages provide plenty of scenery for the actors to chew.

Beer Two

Unfortunately, Laura Linney’s appetite proves too voracious for the film around her. She doesn’t leave any scenery for any of the other actors to even nibble on, in fact. It’s a shrill, ridiculous, and rather disappointing performance considering how great she really is.

Laura-Linney-the-details

Good thing scenery is calorie free!!

Spoiler Alert

I also had a problem with the choice Haysbert ends up making, as I think it’s poorly supported by his inherent decency and upstanding character up to that point. But, on reflection, how much do we really know about the man? “Good people” commit crimes all the time. So, I haated what he does and why he does it, but admit that it’s far from impossible.

Verdict

The Details is an unusually morally complex tragicomedy in the vein of the superb Fargo TV show. In a world where good and evil are not so clearly delineated, and punishment does not always fall where it is due, it may even surpass it.

2beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

2 comments

  1. Great review! I had very similar feeling when I saw it a year or two back, and I agree with your consensus. I also agree whole heartedly with the comparison to FX’s Fargo

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