Tag Archives: Melanie Lynskey

61 of 366: Hello I Must Be Going


I encountered Hello I Must Be Going at the library, the title on the DVD box just jumping out at me like I had to rent it as a way to offset other darker choices like Deliverance and Nosferatu. I appreciate and love many film genres, although science fiction is a little tough for me, and I would say independent films are at the top of my list.

Hello I Must Be Going, directed by Todd Louiso (you know, that guy Dick in High Fidelity and one of the screenwriters on Macbeth last year), and written by Sarah Koskoff definitely fits into the indie genre and style on screen.

It was the opening night film at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 with critical acclaim and really, for me, is without flaw.

Melanie Lynskey is Amy in the film, a divorced woman living at home with her parents until she figures her life out again. She soon realizes she doesn’t just need to figure out her life post-marriage, but all the missteps along the way even before her relationship started.

The uncertainty in Amy’s life while she is with her parents again causes a connection with a younger man, Jeremy, who is equally lost in his ways and not sure what he wants to do.

It’s not a healthy relationship by any means and it borders on destructive for Amy and Jeremy and their parents. His parents are potential clients for Amy’s father as he approaches, supposedly, retirement and hers are watching her next move and worried about where she will go next.

A recurring theme in the film is it will all work out in the end despite problems that may occur along the way–problems that are almost necessary for the characters to find their true path in life.

Lynskey delivers a subtle, yet powerful, performance and easily embodies her character and the dynamic she has with her mom (played by Blythe Danner) and dad (John Rubinstein) as they face their own life decisions brought to light in some ways because of Amy’s return.

Hello I Must Be Going adopts the minimalist style synonymous with indie films and effectively studies its characters and their emotions together for a story abou



53 of 366: Heavenly Creatures

Kate-Winslet-and-Melanie-Lynskey-in-Heavenly-Creatures (1)

I like making lists and then making them again and then editing them. My downfall is I am often adding new tasks or ideas to a list before I finish anything on it, and then I make more lists and the madness continues.

This could be why I have 327 titles on my Netflix DVD queue and a list of another 243 I removed to save for watching next year … or probably never considering how long they were there before without ever arriving in my mailbox.

I still occasionally get stuck in the pattern of browsing through my instant queue for way too long before picking a movie, but I didn’t have that problem tonight when I spotted Heavenly Creatures.

I knew the film (1994) by Peter Jackson is a 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die recommendation and introduction to the acting careers Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey.

It is also an early film for Peter Jackson before he embarked on his path to bring the Lord of the Rings stories to the big screen.

I haven’t seen those films (I know, I know), but those who have may identify some small connection between Heavenly Creatures and the trilogy in that Jackson brings a bit of fantasy style into the true-crime based story set in 1950s New Zealand.

The platform for visual storytelling is there through the presence of the main characters’, Pauline (Lynskey) and Juliet (Winslet), diary entries expressing their teenage angst and struggles with their families trying to keep them apart.

Lynskey and Winslet’s characters are based on the lives of two girls who formed a fast friendship in their New Zealand school in 1952, much to the dismay of their parents.

They bond over music and movies and being somewhat outcasts in society with no harm done, that is until their relationship and connection progresses too far for their families to handle.

Juliet and Pauline come up with the perfect crime to escape their families and particularly Pauline’s mom, who they think is trying to keep them apart the most.

Jackson and screenwriter Fran Walsh, who is his wife and writing partner on many films, effectively mix the realism of Juliet and Pauline’s world with the fantasies they have through use of visual effects such as digital clay figures, colors and dream sequences.

That is certainly an interesting style to take with a film based on true events and a crime not expected of two teenage girls, but it works all together as a haunting and beautiful character-driven story that set the stage for Winslet, Lynskey and Jackson.

I haven’t been on McSweeney’s site in a long, long time (they have a lot of lists there to bring it full circle), but I also found a funny essay by Harris Mayersohn. 

“This was the last straw. I’m over you. My bedroom is full of bad memories and I must cleanse myself of you.

First go the pillows we once nuzzled. They smell too strongly of your Suave Ocean Breeze-scented conditioner. My tears only amplify their stench. So out the window they go and into the dumpster they’ll stay.”