Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

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whaleallright
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#26 Post by whaleallright » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:44 pm

They weren't really publicizing it like an arthouse picture, which is why it's odd that it's widest release was so small (as far as I can tell, it either never played Philadelphia or played there for precisely one week).

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Oedipax
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#27 Post by Oedipax » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:54 pm

I'm taken aback by the film's quiet release as well. When I saw back in May, I figured Haynes had a hit on his hands, something that would become kind of an instant classic for young adults and precocious kids (not to mention deaf/hard of hearing folks who rarely get to see themselves portrayed onscreen, especially in such a prominent and wonderfully-handled way). I did think the black-and-white sections were far weaker, not really a convincing evocation of that era of cinema for me, and not particularly resonant emotionally either. The 70s, on the other hand, look insanely good (by which I mean period accurate, replicating the look of great photographers of that era). The whole section when he first arrives in the city, set to the funky "Thus Spake Zarathustra" also featured in Being There, is Haynes and Lachman (and the costume & production designers) working at the absolute peak of their craft. I was quite moved by the latter half and the scenes with Julianne Moore and the always-excellent Tom Noonan. All in all it's really disappointing to see the film fizzle when I think it's a really worthy film for a broad audience that still retains some of what makes Haynes interesting and distinct as a filmmaker.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#28 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:59 pm

whaleallright wrote:They weren't really publicizing it like an arthouse picture, which is why it's odd that it's widest release was so small (as far as I can tell, it either never played Philadelphia or played there for precisely one week).
Yeah, I was talking more about the distribution - not only was it small, but the theaters that played it here were pretty much arthouse cinemas from what I can recall. (Lincoln Plaza, Angelika, etc.)

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ianthemovie
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#29 Post by ianthemovie » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:53 pm

I loved this as well--it's currently my favorite movie of the year--and am surprised by what a muted reaction it's gotten. The 1970s scenes are wonderfully evoked but I enjoyed the 1920s scenes, too, especially Haynes' pastiche of a D. W. Griffith-style melodrama (Daughter of the Storm I think it's called?).

If I recall correctly, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" plays when Julianne Moore's character enters, not when the kid comes up from the subway. That piece of music is I believe "All the Way Down" by Esther Phillips. Fantastic use of both songs.

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Werewolf by Night
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#30 Post by Werewolf by Night » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:04 pm

I wonder (har har) if this film hasn’t been confused by audiences with Wonder, a family film about a kid with facial deformities that’s playing absolutely everywhere right now. Seems like unfortunate timing for the release of a smaller film with a very similar title.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#31 Post by knives » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:12 pm

Certainly that film's book is much more popular at least with the target audience.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#32 Post by Ribs » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:36 am


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Dylan
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#33 Post by Dylan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:59 pm

Thank you hearthesilence for writing such an insightful response to my post on the last page. I don't have too much to add to your thoughts, which are strongly informed by your personal experience, except that they helped me see the aspect of the film I was grappling with from a wholly different perspective and makes the film even richer for me in hindsight.

I'm also stumped by this film's distribution. Like others here, it also played in my city for just one week and only at the local art house. I almost missed it. I'm curious if Amazon lost faith in it as an awards contender once the reviews came out, so they decided to repackage it as an art film. Not that Wonderstruck has been poorly reviewed, but most reviews are middling to mildly positive, and perhaps Amazon was counting on more. It's hard to tell at this point how many horses this may have in the Oscar race, but I think Ed Lachman is a certainty and Millicent Simmonds is a possibility. But there is so much excellent work here - production design, costumes, score, editing, and of course Haynes' direction - that I have to imagine Amazon has something more up their sleeve for this, but who knows? Maybe they really are just letting it fade away.

I'm curious if Amazon has plans to do something similar with Wonder Wheel, which they initially positioned as a major Oscar contender but it's getting such bad reviews that I doubt it will make it to as many theaters as Wonderstruck did.
I wonder (har har) if this film hasn’t been confused by audiences with Wonder, a family film about a kid with facial deformities that’s playing absolutely everywhere right now. Seems like unfortunate timing for the release of a smaller film with a very similar title.
Yes, it's certainly possible Wonderstruck got lost in the 'wonder' shuffle - it's actually been quite a year for titles with 'wonder' in them: Wonder Woman, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Wonderstruck, Wonder, and Wonder Wheel. If only To the Wonder had been the Malick film this year!
For whatever reason, the full soundtrack is available to stream from Amazon's FYC page for the film.
Lots of studios will put a film's score online for streaming during Oscar season so it can be accessed easily by Academy voters. It also avoids the extra cost of manufacturing and mailing out FYC promo CDs. These streaming versions are often longer than commercially available releases, in some cases containing every single cue composed in the order they appear in the film, as opposed to an official album where a composer might leave cues out and/or dramatically re-arrange the order of cues for a better listening experience. Also, in some cases the score never got an official release so these streaming versions are the only way for people to hear the music away from the film.

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Black Hat
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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#34 Post by Black Hat » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:19 pm

How limited its release along with how little publicity it received has shocked me too. It really hasn't been marketed as a kids movie whatsoever. It's a shame because the kids in this movie really are wonderful and would have done great had they been properly showcased. The only thing that comes to mind is maybe 2017 is the wrong year for this kind of film.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#35 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:38 am

Dylan wrote:Thank you hearthesilence for writing such an insightful response to my post on the last page. I don't have too much to add to your thoughts, which are strongly informed by your personal experience, except that they helped me see the aspect of the film I was grappling with from a wholly different perspective and makes the film even richer for me in hindsight.
Thanks Dylan! I appreciate the kind words!

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#36 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:40 am

It seems possible there is not a physical release planned for this film, as it’s just been put out on VOD services and still nothing’s been announced. In contrast, Last Flag Flying and Wonder Wheel have both been listed (this is from Roadside as opposed to Lionsgate proper, but that means its home video release should be through Lionsgate).


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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#38 Post by StevenJ0001 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:49 pm

Ribs wrote:It seems possible there is not a physical release planned for this film
If that turns out to be true that really concerns me. No physical release of a new film from a major director? :x

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#39 Post by Emilio » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:23 pm

StevenJ0001 wrote:
Ribs wrote:It seems possible there is not a physical release planned for this film
If that turns out to be true that really concerns me. No physical release of a new film from a major director? :x
That would be confounding, perhaps in other regions at least?

I loved this film as well!

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#40 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:27 pm

It's not totally impossible, but it just seems like it's been passed over; Florida Project, which is also being put out by Lionsgate on Home Video and came out two weeks before Wonderstruck isn't coming out until February 13th and still hasn't gotten a formal press release. But, on the other hand, Last Flag Flying is coming out before then, on January 30th, and opened two weeks after this. Best case scenario is just that they're holding out for participants to do a commentary or something (not likely, but definitely an explanation).

It probably will appear somewhere else in the world eventually, regardless.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#41 Post by StevenJ0001 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:14 pm

I guess the idea of it not being released on disk just scares me—I’m clinging on to physical media for the long haul! :D

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#42 Post by Emilio » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:02 pm

StevenJ0001 wrote:I guess the idea of it not being released on disk just scares me—I’m clinging on to physical media for the long haul! :D
You are not alone.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#43 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:24 am

There seems to be an AnchorBay Dvd release, at least according to the good pirates of China (who copied such).

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#44 Post by Ribs » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:18 am

I imagine screeners were sent out for awards consideration, which could be a potential source.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#45 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:42 am

When they copy a screener, I get a message to the effect of "For Awards Consideration only" popping up every 20 mins or so.
Maybe a dvd has been released in some other country(?)

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#46 Post by StevenJ0001 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:33 pm

Lemmy Caution wrote:When they copy a screener, I get a message to the effect of "For Awards Consideration only" popping up every 20 mins or so.
Maybe a dvd has been released in some other country(?)
I get screeners and I notice they’ve been dropping that message for some films. Maybe they’re watermarking them in some way?

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#47 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:19 pm

Amid concerns growing on film twitter, Amazon claims that a release is still planned but just has not yet been dated. I firmly believe that they're just walking it back after some hullabaloo today and multiple inquiries.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#48 Post by Ribs » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:12 pm


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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#49 Post by N_Bourbaki » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:15 pm

Ugh, BD-r though. That's unfortunate.

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Re: Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

#50 Post by whaleallright » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:17 pm

I finally saw this, via Amazon streaming. I have to say, it didn't leave a strong impression. I'm inclined to blame the rather thin story—which relies to an unusual degree on poorly-motivated delay—in part because I had similar problems with the other film made from one of Selznick's books. I didn't hate this one like I did Hugo, in large part because of the inventiveness shown by Haynes and his team in finding interesting sound and image combinations, especially in cross-cutting between the 1920s and 1970s stories. I also liked Lachmann's camerawork, as I would have expected, and enjoyed, to an extent, the period recreations and evocations (notably the pointedly unrealistic cityscape that appears through the elevated train tracks when Rose goes home to her brother's place in Queens). And although the Carter Burwell score was pastiche as per his usual, I still liked the slightly incongruous Robert Fripp-esque guitar in the '70s scenes and some of the Mickey Mousing in the "silent" scenes.

But once the 1920s story fell away, the inventiveness flagged, and we were left with what was to me an entirely uninvolving story. It shared with Hugo the sense that the plot material could have been covered in half the time. Scorsese's film felt like true elephant art, with all that portentous space hanging around each line reading, and with so many scenes coming across like illustrated lectures. Wonderstruck only occasionally felt like that, especially in the final reel, where the charming use of models couldn't conceal the awkwardness of Julianne Moore grinding through five minutes of exposition that probably should have been braided through the entire film. (Anyway, you could guess nearly every plot "twist" a mile off, and then had to sit for many languorous minutes before the characters catch up.) This felt like a film without much of a raison d'être save for the period flavors (which of course fascinate Haynes, see basically all his other work).

I'd be curious to know what folks' kids' reactions was to this. It seems an unusually rarefied, slow thing to qualify as "children's entertainment." Which I guess is kind of admirable, though it didn't work for me, and probably explains why the distributor was cautious.

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