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I disagree, the act of them looking up and her holding the "My House, My Rules" mug seemed to me more like it's emphasizing that the family is now wholly dependent on Marta and how she chooses to use the money, without specifically implying any final decision on her part.
Edited by Dirtyblue929 on Feb 15th 2020 at 12:09:52 PM
An Ambiguous Ending should be "what exactly just happened?" and not "what is going to happen next?" It's not ambiguous that Marta now holds all the power in the last shot.
I love that "my house, my rules, my coffee" mug. Is it possible to buy a real version of that?
Correct. If we have a movie about a person opening their new restaurant and the film ends on the grand opening, it's not Ambiguous Ending because we don't know if their restaurant was a success or not. An Ambiguous Ending there would be ending the film with the restaurant half-finished and unknown if it's they're ever going to open or they'll sell the property instead. The established plot goal of opening isn't resolved. Or, here, an Ambiguous Ending would be a lot of suspects and clues with different ideas of a solution, but no killer actually caught and no one apprehended. Or the one person arrested gets revealed to be one person incapable of the murder at last second (which... actually sounds like a decent twist).
If Marta will give the family any money isn't really the point of the film. And, I'd argue, it'd be different if she were sitting in the office with the family about to plead their case to her. But they're decidedly separated from the house which, visual storytelling, Marta isn't giving them shit. "My House".
Edited by InkDagger on Feb 15th 2020 at 6:50:07 AM
Uncertain Doom for the family.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Feb 15th 2020 at 3:25:07 AM
That's a stretch. Sure Ransom and his dad are screwed, but his mom is independently wealthy of her dad's fortune. Joni and Meg are a murky issue, I'll admit. Hard to tell how much of their money issues are not having money versus living well beyond their means. Walt is going to be the hardest hit because he tied himself so closely to his dad's company and then killed whatever goodwill Marta had towards him. But nothing implies anyone is going to leave all this destitute.
The best outcome I could see for Walt is Marta giving him the publishing stuff out of not knowing how to run that kind of business. Which means Walt could get the adaptation rights he so wanted. And, while he's a thoroughly disgusting person, I do empathize that whatever creativity Harlan thought was being 'stifled' was probably trying to express itself through adaptation which is often a stepping stone towards original works. Walt probably WAS trying to become what Harlan wanted him to be, just Harlan was being impatient and not letting that grow.
But that's the best outcome for him, not the one I think Marta would ever give him.
Edited by InkDagger on Feb 15th 2020 at 7:02:18 AM
I have a much harder view of Harlan than many viewers. I took a lot of what he did to his children as Financial Abuse. Because while his children were dependent on his money and leeches, he also used it to control their lives. You don't fire your son from his job and life's work to help him grow.
You encourage him to write a novel.
Honestly, I've seen and heard of some nasty family arguments regarding inheritance and estate management, and these were at best upper middle class and not the trust fund wealthy like in the movie. These types of situations bring out the worst in people, but it is notable before everything went down Walt did tell Marta the family likes her and intended to help take care of her in case anything happened to Harlan. When he approached her later on the conversation was marred by him being a suspect, but he did reiterate trying to help her.
Among the group it was definitely Joni who came across with almost zero sympathetic qualities, double-dipping on the tuition payment and having married into the family she came across as a gold digger manipulating her own daughter.
I don't think Walt was genuine at all when it came to helping Marta out. Why help her once he has his resources and financial security back? At that point, Marta would be a liability too. Easier to kick her to the curb, wash your hands, and tell her "I was outvoted" if you feel so guilty.
And, speaking as someone who comes from a family that acts like their's, the "I got outvoted" is oft a lie and used to gain sympathy and maintain positive relationships while getting away with a seeming betrayal of some sort. I got the impression that was one thing we were supposed to get out of several of the relatives telling Marta they were "outvoted" despite that kind of coming to a question of how they were outvoted. It's one of the reasons I don't like spending time with family and probably why I empathized with Meg the most; being someone who's too young/inexperienced to be financially independent from family, but equally sick of and pushed around by the family that is suffocating them.
Linda feels like the least insufferable (though, this is a low bar) since she has a positive relationship with Harlan, seems well established in her own business/most financially independent, and probably goes through the worst time (Son a murderer, Husband a cheater, expected inheritance gone, and beloved father dead) with the least negative traits (She might be a bit rude, but I don't remember her being racist like Walt or manipulative like Joni).
Also, considering the Thrombies seem to be a clear commentary on a lot of Trump-esque traits... I don't believe Walt for a second.
Realistically I feel Meg has a good chance of not getting cut off, as she and Marta are legitimate friends and she was clearly forced to betray her, but everyone else is up in the air.
I think Walt ruined any chance of getting his job back by threatening her mother. The irony being that Marta would have almost certainly have given him his job back and let him negotiate for the movie rights to the books, perhaps even cutting himself in. However, he threatened her family and argued she'd be "taken care of." The thing is that everything we see about their family is they're greedy assholes willing to go after their mother and don't even know if she's Cuban or Mexican or Columbian.
He's probably the only member of the family Marta genuinely HATES now.
And Meg? Honestly, I think she should be cut off. $400,000 of tuition without even a Bachelor's Degree to show for it is affluenza of the highest order. I say that because I work in academia and admittedly did do the same thing to my millionaire parents. My father cut me off and I just finished my degree using a program there. If she doesn't have the credits to finish her degree as is, it's because she's been partying like a horror movie victim.
Linda also talks a good game but I see her as the mastermind of going after Marta. If we're meant to assume Harlan was a good guy, I think that the fact he cut her out of the will also says something about her. Certainly, both of her children are evil psychopaths.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Feb 16th 2020 at 10:44:59 AM
I debate on the whole 'Meg is going after a useless degree' thing. Speaking as someone who recently got a degree, ANYONE will write you off as a 'Liberal Arts Degree' unless it's in something they think is valuable, usually political science or economics/business. Again, haven't seen the movie a second time yet but if it's the rest of the family at large that are writing off Mag's degree then I wouldn't be inclined to write it off so quickly. There are plenty of degrees that get written off as "Useless" that are extremely useful, if just not glamorous or millionaire earners. Sociology and Psychology are ones that come to mind. Teaching degrees are another thing considering the various teaching shortages in America right now (Though, that's a complicated issue in of itself).
I would even question the $400,000 if that's for tuition alone OR if that's including other aspects of college such as text books, rent, food, and other living. I didn't even go to the nicest college ever and that place would strangle every last cent out of you. I had some very close friends who had to drop out because they had financial aid, parental assistance, two jobs, and were STILL unable to afford living and their grades were suffering to boot.
Point I'm trying to make, I don't feel like I have enough information to make a judgement one way or another on her financial situation and there are probably some larger sociological issues at play here too.
Not to mention, cutting someone off entirely and kicking them to the curb is probably more harmful than, say, easing them off and helping them get to their own feet.
Edited by InkDagger on Feb 17th 2020 at 1:33:39 AM
Honest Trailer that spoils who did it, but they warn you -
Must... avoid... spoilers...
Damn it, I just missed my chance to see this and I've been paying for it ever since. I said "I'm definitely going to see it a couple weeks from now when I have time" back in December, and when that time came it was gone from the theatres around me.
And you can't rent it anywhere yet. It's not even On Demand.
Edited by KnownUnknown on Feb 18th 2020 at 12:19:03 PM
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