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January 7, 2016

Movie Review: Wrinkles (2014)

Oh boy. It’s another social commentary movie. I’m trying to stifle my anger before going into this but I make no promises NOT to be a crotchety old woman (which is ironic considering this is an film about old people).

Based on the graphic novel by Paco Roca, Wrinkles is an animated film that begins with Emilio, a senior citizen who is put into an old folks home by his son and daughter-in-law. He’s been pretty independent his whole life and now must adjust to the communal regimented existence of a retirement home. His roommate, Miguel, and fellow inmates Antonia, Delores, and Modesto become his new circle of friends.

Throughout his stay, we watch Emilio as his mental faculties begin to decline. Miguel tries to help him out with daily routines and interviews with the resident doctor. If the medical staff sees anything ‘off’ about the residents, they are moved to the upper floor or as Miguel calls it, the “Land of Lost Souls”. This is where the patients go who are too far gone with Alzheimer's or in any way incapable of living without assistance.

It’s basically the last step before death.

Emilio and his friends push through the monotony of their days with whatever amusements they can find. The big bouncy breasted ‘gym’ teacher allows for a few minutes respite once a week; Miguel swindles bits of cash from multiple residents; an ill-conceived car ride where no one has a license. You know, the usual.

The visits from family members are strained, mostly rare, or completely non existent. But the residents of Calusa Harbor have each other for support and love to help them get through each day.

I knew about five minutes into this film that I was going to cry like a baby at some point. And I was not wrong. There is so much emotional turmoil throughout this movie - anger, sadness, shock, small moments of happiness - that I felt completely exhausted by the time it was over. The whole film addressed the societal views on the elderly and aging. 

We all know we’re getting older each day and will eventually get to the point where we will need to be in a home or live an assisted life in our later years (assuming we don’t die before then). It’s not a pleasurable concept and I’m pretty sure most of us don’t even think about it if possible. Which might be why so many of the elderly go forgotten or we turn a blind eye to their plight. This film doesn’t allow us to look away.

Circle of Friends, Octogenarian Edition

The characters are engaging, sad, beautiful, and meaningful in one way or another. Each resident of the home has personality and life, even if it’s one that is a complete delusion. Though Emilio is the star so to speak, Miguel is the one that drew me in. He seems like a one-dimensional tough old bird but we discover he's rather complex with every layer he reveals. 

The only character that was engaging in a negative way was Emilio's son, though I think he was specifically written for the viewer to hate. He’s basically a selfish asshole who is pissed at having to rearrange his life all the time for his ailing father. TOTAL FUCKING DICKWAD. Maybe it’s because my folks are dead and I never had to make the choice about whether a home would be beneficial, but I was literally screaming at the TV that he should be happy his father is still around. I JUST WANTED TO PUNCH THIS COCK NOZZLE RIGHT IN THE FUCKING DICK.

The music was great throughout the film, helping to convey that sense of loss or longing each resident had or the helplessness of trying to recover scattered memories. The animation itself is very simple which is good because it doesn’t distract from the story. The voice acting is brilliant. Martin Sheen is Emilio and George Coe is Miguel. Matthew Modine provides the voice for the son but because I hate that character so much, now I hate Matthew. 


For a social commentary movie, which I normally loathe, I enjoyed this film very much. I cried a lot, particularly at the end and it engaged me from start to finish, more so than I thought it would. It was a nice break from crappy horror and terrible action and just shitty movies in general.

4 Hatchets (out of 5)

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