Various and Sundry

I like Master and Commander and, yes, I’m a dad. Why do you ask?

Thinking of my biennial “Favorite Films” post this past December, it’s clear from last night’s Oscars, I’m not the only one who was bowled over by the bagel that is Everything Everywhere All at Once.

It’s definitely due a rewatch… but actually, I’m here to point out a recent article by Gabriella Paiella for GQ about how my top pick, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, was made and is now an absolute classic in the eyes of some film lovers. The article explores the allure of the film, perhaps best summed up as: “If you kidnapped a hundred of Hollywood’s top minds and forced them to work around the clock, they could not engineer a more exquisite Dad Movie.”

Photographs: Everett Collection, Getty Images; Collage: Gabe Conte

Is that why it’s my new top pick? Am I transitioning early to be one of those dads who’s preparing to ace a military history trivia contest? (As per John Mulaney).

Y’know, you might want to step away from the Everything Bagel, read the article, and engage in some naval gazing. It might be the lesser of two weevils.

3 thoughts on “I like Master and Commander and, yes, I’m a dad. Why do you ask?”

  1. Personally, I found the movie confusing, until I realized this wasn’t a production of the book, but a characterization of half the book series. A very entertaining movie, though still nothing compared to most of the books.

    1. I understand that point-of-view. The title alone is a mouthful as it’s not the first book, Master & Commander, and it does change several key aspects of The Far Side of the World. I’ve become far more forgiving of far more adaptations as I’ve made my own attempts at filmmaking. Taking a book to the different medium of film almost always means draining some of the detail that made you love the book, especially when it comes to inner thoughts (though I recall O’Brian did a good job of “show, don’t tell”). So a big aspect I look for is a tone in the film that feels true to the source material… and I have to say, there’s so much craft and love in the film, I think it does. I’m still quite bummed there will never be a follow-up.

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