Spring Breakers (R)

8 Stars

Don’t let me oversell this .

The pacing decelerates somewhere in the middle (it eventually picks back up), and it’s filthy.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie to my parents.

And I’m not confident it’ll hold up in ten years.

But Spring Breakers is great.

It’s #16 on my ‘Top Movies of 2013’ list, which if you’ve seen the movie, might be baffling.

There’s no denying this film’s well made; it’s shot and edited masterfully.

Things get a little moist for my tastes at a couple points in the film. The sprinkling of sexual assault is difficult to swallow, but you’ll get over it quickly.

The narrative is excellent. It goes unexpected places, and I really enjoy the ending.

It’s a rather diverse and powerful cast, with James Franco at the helm as Alien.

Okay, so here’s the thing.

Harmony Korine has directed, in the past, what most would consider ‘poor’ films. I’ve heard tell of Trash Humpers, and honestly will never see an entry from his early movie-making career.

But Spring Breakers, at the very least, is a good movie and I’ve only heard it mentioned in a derogatory fashion. Particularly in reference to the female cast; about how they didn’t know what they were getting into, and blindly trust Harmony.

Vanessa Hudgens as Candy, Ashley Benson as Brit and Rachel Korine (Harmony’s wife!) as Cotty turn in really excellent performances for difficult roles. And they deserve more credit than they’ve gotten.

Selena Gomez as Faith is easily the least effective in her acting performance. But I don’t remember her being particularly bad; just muted and withdrawn, giving 65% and mailing-it-in.

Mr. Franco is really a sight to behold. He also delivers a terrific performance as Alien.

At one point he swoons the four shotgun-toting ladies (dressed in pink ski masks) with a Britney Spears cover on the white piano beside his outdoor pool.

And do you know what? I actually care about his character a little bit in the end. James brings the pathos!

This Franco fellow’s got numerous tricks up his sleeve. He’s great in This is the End from last year as well. Good on ya, James!

As for the ending, I appreciate it. It’s a bit of an anticlimax but that’s alright. It’s rather satisfactory in its realism. In fact, the events that follow the climactic moment seem like such a fantasy; perhaps Mr. Korine is drawing a dichotomy here?

Do you see what I mean, my Proverbial Audience?

Each girl is subtly infatuated with a form of deviancy. One likes guns, one likes intoxication, one likes sex, and Selena Gomez likes moping.

The chick that digs firearms fills a water pistol with vodka and squirts it into her mouth. There’s subtle stuff going on here!

The ending seems like such a great cap on this film full of debauchery, violence and deviancy.

What Ol’ Harmony appears to be suggesting is that even after it all unfolds, the two girls will return home to their normal family lives and never tell anyone what happened.

That during this window of disconnection, these girls can get away with murder and climb back in without anyone the wiser.

It’s powerful stuff, man.

Kidding, but it’s definitely thought provoking.

Anyway, if you’re a sucker for thought provocation, and you’re a young adult, you might appreciate Spring Breakers as much as I did.

Thoughts, perchance?

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