A movie like Music irritates me. It irritates me in so many ways that during the first few seconds, I was already aggravated by it.
Much has been said about this movie, the directorial debut of Sia, who has taken the Pepsi Challenge with Uwe Boll and Kevin Smith on who can whine and berate their critics the most over their sloppy direction and bad movies.
The title refers to a young teenage girl named Music (Maddie Ziegler) who is on the Simple Jack autistic spectrum. Her role is so bad, I felt sorry for the young woman. All the she does is just smile with her teeth sticking out and move her head and arms around. She’s constantly wearing headphones.
There are so many cliches in her appearance and behavior alone. Odd, quirky characters often wear certain headgear. It’s like Sia watch the South Park episode where Eric Cartman pretends to be developmentally disabled to compete in the Special Olympics and just told her Ziegler to impersonate what she saw. The first time we see Music she is making noises and then starts slapping her legs as she puts on pants.
One of my nieces has autism and she is able to carry one conversations with people and even married with a child. Music is from the Rain Man school of autism, except Dustin Hoffman did his homework. I don’t feel Ziegler did.
Even Sean Penn was more believable in I Am Sam. Or take Edward Norton’s character pretending to be a developmentally disabled person as part of a con in The Score. I have issues with Penn and Norton but at least they added some human elements to the characters they played. Ziegler plays a stereotype. It’s a mockery really.
But she was only 14 at the time she made this movie back in 2017. And it was at the hands of Sia who kept telling her to do this. It’s been well noted that Ziegler has said she was afraid she was making fun of people with autism.
Like I said, she was 14 at the time. She’s 18 now. Sia said she wanted to spend enough time editing it, but maybe she did it because she knew by the time it would be released, Ziegler would be a legal adult freeing Sia up from any legalities.
They do have a weird relationship. Ziegler also became famous on the horrendous Dance Moms, in which she was subjected to the abuse of Abby Lee Miller and probably other older adults. Ziegler didn’t know better. But I know she has a lot to tell.
I think we need to get started on the #FreeMaddie movement if it hasn’t already started and kick it into maximum overdrive.
The plot, if it even matters because it doesn’t make sense, involves Music being left alone after her grandmother, Millie (Mary Kay Place) passes away. Now, here’s where the movie screws up so badly, nothing else is believable. Music’s next of kin is her half-sister, Zu (Kate Hudson) sporting a buzz cut because she’s a recovering drug addict who also deals drugs. You see Hudson, who is a fitness nut and has her own clothing line of fitness clothes has to have some abnormality to look like a recovering druggie. And the best they could come with was a buzz cutt.
Now, that Millie has passed, for some reason, Zu becomes the legal guardian. Yeah, that wouldn’t happen. If Music had all the development problems, the absolutely last person a social worker would put in charge of her would be a recovering addict who has no legal source of income.
But what does it matter? This movie isn’t doing anything right.
George (Hector Elizondo) is the friendly superintendent of the apartment complex who seems to be concerned about being repeatedly asked to look after Music than why he’s being asked.
Zu also begins to have a relationship with her neighbor played by Leslie Odom Jr., who is named Ebo Odom.
Ok, there’s one thing I can’t stand and that’s when a writer gets lazy and gives its characters foolishly made-up names. And Ebo Odom is one of the worst. Did Sia just give up and decide whoever she hired for this role, that character would have the same surname?
Zu is short for Kazu. Both have the surname Gamble. I’ll just let it at that.
Tig Notaro shows up as the host of a show called the Radgicals, which looks like the start of a horror movie before the anamorphic creatures turn bloodthirsty. And Notaro acts like she’s reading the lines for the first time off a teleprompter. You can actually hear her tired disgust with this movie in the tone of her voice. I don’t know why she made this movie. Maybe she was only shown part of the script.
There’s also Juliette Lewis, who can be forgiven finally for her portrayal in The Other Sister. This is a lot worse. That movie had many faults but at least it tried despite the awful performance. There isn’t anyhing here but ableism propaganda.
Anyway, all along, there are numerous music videos sequences which are supposed to be the result of Music’s subconscious, but they’re so colorful, bright and a complete opposite of the senses most autistic people deal with.
One of the most disgusting parts of this movie is when Music is restraint very physically and forcibly a few times. This just doesn’t happen, not anymore at least. But it sure as hell didn’t happen a few years ago.
This movie is just bad. It’s bad in so many ways. Hudson and Ziegler won Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress. Hudson was once a promising actress and until now, her worst role was in The Killer Inside Me where her character urinates all over herself after she is severely beaten. Need I remind anyone that she was once an Oscar nominee making big movies and her mother is Goldie Hawn and was raised by Kurt Russell. It wasn’t a good year for them as Wyatt Russell was universally hated for playing a character who was temporarily Captain America for about a month.
Surely, Hudson can pick better roles. Anything would be better. That Matthew McConaughey movie where she tries to lose him within a week or whatever it was called is Casablanca compared to this. And if McConaughey can win an Oscar, there’s hope for Hudson.
There’s hope for Ziegler too. Her win is not fair as it’s really the result of Sia’s terrible direction. Needless to say, she won Worst Director and she deserved it. Sia at least can be glad that Mike Lindell, the crazy motherfucker who created My Pillow, did a conspiracy movie, Absolute Proof, about the falsities regarding the 2020 election, and the people at the Golden Raspberry Awards felt that was much worse. Otherwise, I think this would’ve been the worst movie of the year.
I haven’t seen Absolute Proof. But if it’s worse than this, then I don’t want to see it.