Bubble (2005)
August 23, 2015 9:49 PM - Subscribe

A film about three people who work in a doll factory.

Soderbergh assembles a group of non-actors to explore the preconditions and consequences of a murder in a "decaying Midwestern town".

Roger Ebert, 2006:
Steven Soderbergh's "Bubble" approaches with awe and caution the rhythms of ordinary life itself. He tells the stories of three Ohio factory workers who have been cornered by life. They work two low-paying jobs, they dream of getting a few bucks ahead, they eat fast food without noticing it, two of them live with their parents, one of them has a car. Their speech is such a monotone of commonplaces that we have to guess about how they really feel, and sometimes, we suspect, so do they.

I haven't made the movie sound enthralling. But it is. The characters are so closely observed and played with such exacting accuracy and conviction that "Bubble" becomes quietly, inexorably, hypnotic. Soderbergh never underlines, never points, never uses music to suggest emotion, never shows the characters thinking ahead, watches appalled as small shifts in orderly lives lead to a murder.
posted by dilaudid (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think this is an incredible film, but I found it extremely difficult to watch. I lived in a town that was a little too similar to the one depicted in this movie and know people that are very much like the characters in it.
posted by tomorrowromance at 6:18 AM on August 25, 2015

It's been a couple of minutes since I saw this, but oh, man, I love this movie.

I read somewhere that not only were the actors not actors, but they improvised their lines and didn't know each other beforehand, which would account for that sort of nervous formality they had with each other, which was most obvious with Martha and her dad. There's also a kind of eerie isolation throughout. The casting is spare, without a bunch of (any?) extras walking around. It all creates this sort of distancing, disquieting effect that is just the perfect mood for this story.

BTW, this is the movie that drove home to me why I should never trust Netflix blurbs:

Set in a crumbling Ohio town that revolves around the local doll factory, Steven Soderbergh's offbeat film follows the antics of townsfolk turned detectives who try to unravel a murder mystery -- and end up discovering a bizarre love triangle.
posted by ernielundquist at 3:16 PM on August 25, 2015

That Netflix description is useless and awful on any number of levels, but the thing that really gets me is the use of the word "antics."
posted by tomorrowromance at 6:25 AM on August 26, 2015

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