The Tracy Fragments (B-)
An Education (D)
You'd think that, when choosing a movie, the members of our family would look for a movie they want to see, hoping they might convert others to their choice. Unfortunately this tournament has turned us into a group of sycophantic whores. I speak for everyone when I say that I would gladly sit through The Star Wars Christmas Special or watch whatever experimental films Alex Lake sleeps through at Doc Films if only it meant I could beat Gene at a movie tournament. An example of the basest pandering of all is the choice of The Tracey Fragments and An Education in the first round of The Tournament. Lydia did not choose The Tracey Fragments because she cares about avant-garde cinema -- they could keep re-animating Dragon Ball Z and she would watch it every time -- and I certainly don't care about period pieces. In both cases, the movies were nominated solely to pander to another player. For my part, I thought, "If I can get Gene to vote for An Education because Carey Mulligan is cute, I only need to pick up another vote from John, Beth, or Sally, who love historical shit." Meanwhile Lydia knows that I want nothing more in the world than to meet Ellen Page in person and not have the balls to ask her on a date (my fantasies can be pretty mundane).
These movies represent the failure of sycophants, though. Neither got the votes of the horny teenagers they were intended for. There was nothing in these movies for a Carey Mulligan fan or an Ellen Page stalker to latch on to. It turns out that in An Education, Carey Mulligan was not playing a 1950s Sally Sparrow (Doctor Who: Blink). There was no puzzle-solving, no enigmatic Doctor, no evil alien-statues and no crappy love interest. (The crappy love interest is an important lie to convince male audiences that they could get a girl like Sally Sparrow.) With all those essential elements missing, Carey Mulligan was reduced to a female Holden Caulfield who was a chore to watch.
Similarly, Ellen Page does nothing to make you fall in glove with her in Tracy Fragments. In Inception, she is thrown into a giant dream ocean and comes up, wet, salty, and choking for air. In Juno she gives birth drenched in sweat and gasping for air. In Whip It she's thrown in a hot tub and -- oh my God what is wrong with me this is revealing a dreadful pattern.