Byzantium ★★★

I've been catching up on my vampire movies lately and it's been a nice change to see a few where the vampire is a metaphor for something other than someone's specific ideology. This was the first one I've seen in a long time where it seemed to say something new.

I loved how well it manages to address issues about poor people, specifically poor women and the dismissive 'well why don't they get a job' mentality in general through Eleanor's criticism of Clara.

Eleanor's question to Clara on why doesn't she find something else to Clara is 200 years old, so why can't she think of anything better to do than sell herself? Well, I think the film very effectively demonstrates how, when someone is taught they can't do anything else and are good for nothing else, they don't consider other options. For them, there are no other options. The here-and-now, survival first mindset of Clara shows how very little has changed for 'women of little means' over the years and how, when survival is all you can manage, doing what you can - what you know how to do - rather than risk failure, especially when, in such a marginal existence, failure can mean you do not survive is the only 'choice.'

I liked other aspects of the film like the role reversal but I've already seen that before many times in films that rushed to be the 'anti-twilight' (the best of the lot being Let the Right One In, a film that only came across that way incidentally). But overall, I thought it was an original (and largely unexplored) viewpoint.

Marna liked these reviews