Because You Demanded It: I Spoil Some Movies
March 21, 2011
I try to avoid spoilers when writing reviews. But lately, a lot of people have been coming to my blog searching for spoilers, so I thought ‘d oblige them with some answers. So beware:
There are spoilers below for Barney’s Version, Biutiful, and Blue Valentine.
How Did Boogie Die in Barney’s Version?
This one surprised me, because I thought it was staggeringly obvious. As I said in my review, it’s hinted at once, and then clearly explained later: Barney and Boogie had a fight at Barney’s cottage in northern Quebec. Boogie, who’s high and/or drunk, plans to go swimming. Barney passes out, and when he recovers, Boogie is gone, and neither he nor his body can be found. Eventually, his body is found in the woods, far away from Barney’s cottage, and an autopsy determines he died of a skull fracture. As Barney watches a water bomber scoop up lakewater to dump on a forest fire, the answer becomes clear.
So maybe it’s just me. Maybe I spent more time than average at air shows, watching forest fighting demonstrations. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve seen the opening to Magnolia about 500 times:
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Boogie was sucked up by an airplane, then dropped on a fire.
Perhaps it’s less clear in the book.
Who Does Uxbal talk to at the end/beginning of Biutiful?
At the beginning and end of Biutiful, Uxbal has an unusual dream conversation with a man in a wintery forest. The man is his father, identified in the film from old photos and a very well-preserved corpse. But Uxbal never met his father, so he speaks with the voice of Uxbal’s son, who said the same things about owls. (I don’t remember the conversation about the wind and the water, but it’s certainly a childish sort of thing to say.)
Does Blue Valentine Have a Happy Ending?
Dear god, no. I mean, nobody dies, but that’s probably the happiest thing that can be said about it. It has some happy bits in it, including sort of an ending, but by the time the credits roll, you will not be smiling.
Unless your romantic life is really, really, awful. I suppose it might cheer you up, then.