I fell in love with this film from the very first shot (which precedes the opening credits). Katrina, (Carrie Brownstein) tells a video camera, and us, why she is the perfect castmate for The Real World. It commands our attention, yet is simple, both in form and content. The context will provide the weight. It is followed by a film awash in melancholy, but steeped in beauty (this is the Pacific Northwest after all).
Some Days Are Better Than Others examines what happens when you don’t have a bad day or a bad week, but when you might just be trapped in a bad year, or dare we wonder, a bad life? An impressively assured feature-film debut from Matthew McCormick (not surprising given his pedigree of short films and a roster of helming music videos for some of the best musicians in independent music), this film could be the first true masterpiece of the “hipster generation,” as it stars James Mercer, he first of The Shins, now Broken Bells, as Eli, and the aforementioned Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney, now of Wild Flag, one of Rolling Stone’s 25 most-underrated guitarists of all time (the only woman on the list) and the co-creator and co-star of Portlandia. However, I don’t want to appear reductionist with the “hipster” label: one, because McCormick aims his lens and his story wider than guys in plaid shirts and women in oxford shoes (nothing against either, of course) and two, because you can’t dismiss this film as solely for the 20 to 30-something set that spends Saturday morning at the farmer’s market and that night sipping on PBR (in itself a gross over-simplification). I stand by my comment in the sense that Kerouac could be described as the diarist of The Beats, both for the moment he captured and also due to his approach, his distinct voice and vision, to his craft. Some Days are Better Than Others is poetry committed to screen, and it’s a beautifully rendered screen to look at thanks in large part to cinematographer Greg Schmitt.