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Thou Wast Mild and Lovely2014

  • 3.6
Director Josephine Decker's highly-acclaimed second feature unfolds with the lyricism and inexorable sense of tragedy of an ancient Appalachian murder ballad. Indie icon Joe Swanberg delivers a beautifully understated performance as Akin, a soft-spoken farmworker who takes a summer job working for the belligerent, domineering Jeremiah, who lives in incestuous isolation with his daughter. Sophie Traub's performance as the daughter, Sarah, has the sun-dappled quality of one of Andrew Wyeth's Helga paintings. Decker's vision of "Paradise Lost", dew clinging to a spider's web, the insistent hum of insects, a young girl writhing on the grass, is unforgettably poetic and seems to echo down from ages past.

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"...often suggests what might happen if Malick were to adapt Tennessee Williams, somehow gaining a sense of humor in the process." - Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine


6 members like this review

Richard Brody in The New Yorker announced that "A Star is Born" with Josephine Decker's "Butter on the Latch" and "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely." Absolutely - her direction and editing is (along with the cinematography of Ashley Connor) outstanding. What strikes me the most about their craft is the number of shots in these two films that create unease and aesthetic interest in equal measure - a combination that never ceases to fascinate and that makes irrelevant the lines between dream and reality, present and past, even horizontal and vertical. In this sense as star - cinema itself - is reborn. These films are nothing that could be imagined in any other form or medium - they are slices of cinema at its most engaging and essential.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (29)

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top reviewer

Richard Brody in The New Yorker announced that "A Star is Born" with Josephine Decker's "Butter on the Latch" and "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely." Absolutely - her direction and editing is (along with the cinematography of Ashley Connor) outstanding. What strikes me the most about their craft is the number of shots in these two films that create unease and aesthetic interest in equal measure - a combination that never ceases to fascinate and that makes irrelevant the lines between dream and reality, present and past, even horizontal and vertical. In this sense as star - cinema itself - is reborn. These films are nothing that could be imagined in any other form or medium - they are slices of cinema at its most engaging and essential.

6 members like this review
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top reviewer

The movie was slow and I did not watch the whole thing because I found it boring.

4 members like this review
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top reviewer

A crazy movie, but crazy good. The central character is seductive in a playful way. In a different setting she would be a hippy, but here she is indescribable. The evil element is hard to watch, but it will keep you watching. There is far more depth to this than is obvious on a first take.

2 members like this review

Bullshit!!! Nothing to do with David Lynch as stated. He takes you somewhere, while this does not.

2 members like this review

Loved the very deliberate pacing and the creative use of camera and lens. But mostly it was the performances of Straub, Swanberg and Longstreet that hooked me.... Robert Longstreet adds a certain depth and dimension to every film he's in. That being said, the last part of this film seems to be taken from another script, another genre, another world. The ending really takes something away from the potential overall power of the film.

2 members like this review

There was a certain beauty , both visually and in the VO prose. However, the twists at the end were so far out of left field that the film wasn't coherent as a whole. The ending felt forced and damaged the rest of the film.

2 members like this review

well, just come right in, why don't ya

2 members like this review

This movie was strange, strange, strange. I kept waiting for something to happen and when things did, they were just weird.

2 members like this review

AMAZING!

2 members like this review

no good

2 members like this review
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I wasn't convinced after my first watch but it has been impossible to shake. Haunting and inescapable.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

A twisted Child ballad of a film.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

4 1/2 totally strange the girl is the winner she's such a mystery & the camera is great_you are there & you don't know where you are_well worth the trip_but get me out of here

1 member likes this review

Magnificent work!!

1 member likes this review

Tense - intoxicating - visceral - like the yearning and dread a qusano brings as it sinks through a bottle of mescal on to your tongue - refreshing - exhilarating - great directing, acting, and cinematography is beautiful.

1 member likes this review

Boring man suffering from mild Asberger's finds himself on a farm with some interesting people, heteronormativity status quo wins the day, after much bloodshed. 1 star

1 member likes this review

Didn't get more than 20min in before deciding to try something else.

1 member likes this review

Sorry to be so harsh but this film might have been made by a pretentious 2nd yr. art student whose ideas about life aren't based in any kind of reality. The film was beautiful to watch, the actors were good and it wasn't boring - so far it sounds promising - but the axe falls on the film when you try to invest a bit of yourself in it and you find doing so is very hard. There is no there ... there. I enjoyed it anyway.

1 member likes this review

Rather confused and surreal. I had to read the burb to discovery that she was the

daughter of the rancher and not the wife even as he denied it. Was the rancher

sterile and wanted the Joe Swanberg character to impregnate her?

1 member likes this review

He was her father. He was a psycho abuser and ended up dead as a result.

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top reviewer

@Joan D.—assuming the farewell gesture accorded her by the wife of Shoulders is any clue-not to mention the frog foreplay, I would guess the same, if not more so, would have to be said of the wife/daughter.

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I didn't think this film worked very well at all, despite enjoying some of Decker's other films like "Butter on the latch" and "Uncle Kent". Although parts of it are unique and interesting, as a whole I found it difficult to make sense of.

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top reviewer

Some beautiful rural photography but otherwise its incomprehensible plot and pseudo-artistic and mostly cryptic character motives leaves the viewer in total left field wondering who, what, where, and when..........

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So distinctively made. What a vision.

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"Thou Was Mild and Lovely" is a work filled with life. Each scene is unpredictable and each moment is subject to opposing forces and palpable tension. Thus we wander through this encounter, always in the midst of great uncertainty, guided by desire and surrounded by temptation and danger.

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"Mild and Lovely"? Bwahaha. Never get involved with a psycho farm gal and her"dad"?(Especially one with shearing scissors.)

I don't know why this film got a good review or why it won an award. Didn't like the photography, the out of focus and tight shots did not add to the story line or film at all. The acting on the other had was good.

I would not recommend this film to anyone.

Strange flick, with numerous unexplained narrative details. Sometimes fascinating, but at other times just weird.

Fascinating, deep, engaging, thought provoking.

There's a weird space in this movie that feels like watching a spell be cast. The scene where Joe Swanberg's character is accused of being a witch, isn't far off of the mark. I look forward to seeing what else Decker does.

Liked the film but WHY oh WHY is it labeled COMEDY??!!

definitely NOT

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top reviewer

@Elle S. Well, how 'bout that, it seems as though someone heard you. Way to go! :)