I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Spoilers)

ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
edited September 8 in Movies

Comments

  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    "I’m Thinking Of Ending Things stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis"

    That's a pretty solid cast!
    Chinaski
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    “On a road trip to meet his parents on their secluded farm, Jake’s girlfriend is thinking of ending things. When Jake makes an unexpected detour, leaving her stranded, a twisted mix of palpable tension, psychological frailty, and sheer terror ensues.”

    God, that sounds frightening!
    Chinaskimajjam0770
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    “On a road trip to meet his parents on their secluded farm, Jake’s girlfriend is thinking of ending things. When Jake makes an unexpected detour, leaving her stranded, a twisted mix of palpable tension, psychological frailty, and sheer terror ensues.”

    God, that sounds frightening!
    yeah, looks like it :#


  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Yeah...I wasn't sure what I was expecting. But it wasn't quite that. I am there with bells on though,
    Chinaski
  • MoonMan13MoonMan13 Northern Kentucky
    Was reading the book, then spoiled myself on it. Not sure what that does to my interest level for this, but I think the Kaufman aspect brings something new to the table.
    Chinaski
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @MoonMan13 I have the book but I’ve never read it. Is it any good?
  • MoonMan13MoonMan13 Northern Kentucky
    @Dee it was off to a good start, but for whatever reason I was feeling antsy about it. I ended up listening to some podcasts and reading some articles that summed it up for me. Not sure if I'm happy or sad about it after the fact...
    On the plus side, somehow as a result I listened to an audiobook of "The Keep" (the more recent one) and enjoyed it so I can recommend that!
    ChinaskiDee
  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things is a very unsettling read. Personally found it pretty great, though I could see opinions differing, particularly on the ending. No spoilers, but it's going to be interesting how Kaufman interprets this for a visual medium. The story and the prose have a disconcerting subtlety that leaves just the right amount to the imagination. I could see it being one of those stories that works better in your mind's eye, but if any director can get the best out of it it's Kaufman, so I'm here to see how it turns out.

    Maybe one for the Bald Move Spooktacular, depending of course on how it turns out!
    DeeChinaskiMoonMan13
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    soooo on my weekend radar list! reviews looking up too! i'm excited!
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Our plan is to record a podcast for it for next week's Prestige podcast. Always excited to check out a new Kaufman.
    Chinaskicalebthrowernealneilfgks
  • Wow. Just watched this. No spoilers ahead...

    This is a tough adaptation, but Kaufman did a fantastic job. I’m going to be really interested in what people think of this without the context of knowing where it’s going. But if you do, it’s very rewarding to see how Kaufman took such a sparsely descriptive novel (which is in fact one of its strengths) and used his own mastery of visual storytelling to such great effect. 

    This is going to generate a great podcast discussion, I imagine!
    Chinaski
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    Watched I’m thinking of ending things last night. Loved it. I felt unsettled during the whole movie, in a good way. Definitely recommend. I want to read the book to see what changes were made
  • AussieGregAussieGreg Canberra, Australia
    Was blown away by this movie!
  • It's a movie that I know would benefit from a rewatch.  I personally would love to dig in to the clues and learn more about Jake's life and how that is represented in certain scenes.

    However, I can't see myself doing that any time soon because the dialogue in the car scenes was excruciating for me and that felt like it took 60+ minutes of the whole movie. 

    I think I'm much more likely to read the book and see how they compare.
  • edited September 6
    For those on the fence about reading the book: it's little over two hundred pages and flies by. Depending on your reading speed it doesn't take too much longer to read the book than to watch the movie!
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    For those on the fence about reading the book: it's little over two hundred pages and flies by. Depending on your reading speed it doesn't take too much longer to read the book than to watch the movie!
    I think you are drastically overestimating my reading speed. 
    Tomalexwhitham
  • edited September 7
    Just finished this one, and man, can I just say Charlie Kaufman is definitely in my top five filmmakers of all time. The guy always makes me think and feel dumb for doing so. Didn’t even know about this until today, and I had seen a tweet about it with the hashtag “fuckplot.” My wife told me she was curious to see it and I told her that and she noped out. Luckily, she went to sleep early so I got to watch and fully immerse myself in this claustrophobic, biting melodrama that felt more like the inner monologue of an old man/woman suffering from dementia. Not sure if we’re getting spoilery or not, so I’ll just say from  the name drops of artists and works, to the waxing philosophical, I was hooked and terrified throughout. A lot of times, an ending can really be the deciding factor in whether or not I like a film, but this one, despite how I feel on the ending which I still don’t quite know yet how I feel, was all about the long, awkward road trip to the end. I was reminded of a 6 and a half hour long album called everywhere at the end of time by The Caretaker that spans over six sections, starting with clear old timey music with some record hiss and cracks, and deteriorated over the preceding sections into an almost hellish abyss of meaning or hope. The artist was trying to make something that would show the listener what dealing with dementia is like, in a way that you start to forget the things that make you you and it’s a scary thing to feel. I’m thinking of ending things, fortunately, ends things somewhat happier, although hopeful isn’t quite how I’d put it.
    RyanReeseman
  • I'm gonna refer to the ending of both the book and the movie here but VERY broadly/vaguely in ways I don't think spoil anything...

    I read the book when it came out and liked it a lot, but could see some people going 'wait what? fuck this' and I figured trying to visualize it would only make it more divisive, which I guess maybe it has? Except the endings differ substantially in tone and... content, kindof, in a way that's hard to explain non-spoilery. I think the movie is doing basically the same thing but far more metaphorically. And while I appreciate what Kaufman tried to go for here, I'm kindof disappointed that he didn't keep it more similar - where the novel ties things together in a revelatory twist/mindblow that also grounds the whole thing and is emotional, the movie instead doubles down on the weirdness/surreality, in a way that undermines that emotionality and leaves viewers who haven't read the book, I would guess, pretty lost as to wtf they just watched. Maybe/maybe not - it'll be interesting to hear interpretations from those people, I guess; it's hard to judge like...I actually worried the movie was tipping it's hand too early, while watching, but that may've just been me knowing where it's headed. And so like, oddly enough I feel like Kaufman COULD HAVE pulled off a great adaptation of the book, despite my concerns about how difficult it'd be, and yet then just decided NOT to, in order to go for a totally different presentation of the ending instead. Which as I say left me detached from it and a little annoyed. I kinda hope Jim and A.Ron read the book first or will after, esp if...from the times I've heard Jim talking about surrealist stuff etc I dunno if he's gonna dig this hah. In general I think it's a shame that some people who might've loved it were it closer to the book will now bounce off of it and feel like 'uh huh, ok' about it, when the credits hit

    Visually the movie was great. I'm one of the people who really loved the car/conversation scenes the most, the acting from both leads was fantastic although this is one time I feel like Jesse Plemons was himself overshadowed/DIDN'T steal his scenes hah, gotta look up the actress and see what else she has done... but yeah, in the end (literally), maybe Kaufman just couldn't or wouldn't reign in his self-indulgent/artsy tendencies, and the artifice of that kinda encases or frosts things over in a way that left me at a distance, and it didn't havta be that way. For that reason it probly works better as an interesting companion piece to the book than on its own I'd imagine
  • I'm gonna refer to the ending of both the book and the movie here but VERY broadly/vaguely in ways I don't think spoil anything...

    I read the book when it came out and liked it a lot, but could see some people going 'wait what? fuck this' and I figured trying to visualize it would only make it more divisive, which I guess maybe it has? Except the endings differ substantially in tone and... content, kindof, in a way that's hard to explain non-spoilery. I think the movie is doing basically the same thing but far more metaphorically. And while I appreciate what Kaufman tried to go for here, I'm kindof disappointed that he didn't keep it more similar - where the novel ties things together in a revelatory twist/mindblow that also grounds the whole thing and is emotional, the movie instead doubles down on the weirdness/surreality, in a way that undermines that emotionality and leaves viewers who haven't read the book, I would guess, pretty lost as to wtf they just watched. Maybe/maybe not - it'll be interesting to hear interpretations from those people, I guess; it's hard to judge like...I actually worried the movie was tipping it's hand too early, while watching, but that may've just been me knowing where it's headed. And so like, oddly enough I feel like Kaufman COULD HAVE pulled off a great adaptation of the book, despite my concerns about how difficult it'd be, and yet then just decided NOT to, in order to go for a totally different presentation of the ending instead. Which as I say left me detached from it and a little annoyed. I kinda hope Jim and A.Ron read the book first or will after, esp if...from the times I've heard Jim talking about surrealist stuff etc I dunno if he's gonna dig this hah. In general I think it's a shame that some people who might've loved it were it closer to the book will now bounce off of it and feel like 'uh huh, ok' about it, when the credits hit

    Visually the movie was great. I'm one of the people who really loved the car/conversation scenes the most, the acting from both leads was fantastic although this is one time I feel like Jesse Plemons was himself overshadowed/DIDN'T steal his scenes hah, gotta look up the actress and see what else she has done... but yeah, in the end (literally), maybe Kaufman just couldn't or wouldn't reign in his self-indulgent/artsy tendencies, and the artifice of that kinda encases or frosts things over in a way that left me at a distance, and it didn't havta be that way. For that reason it probly works better as an interesting companion piece to the book than on its own I'd imagine
    I haven't read the book, but a comment about Kaufman and books...what you're describing is kind of what he does.  Like the movie Adaptation was meant to be an adaptation of the book 'The Orchid Thief' but instead became a movie about his struggles with adapting that book and not about the book itself.  I think he sees books as springboards for his own ideas and not something that he's obligated to be faithful to.
  • I'm gonna refer to the ending of both the book and the movie here but VERY broadly/vaguely in ways I don't think spoil anything...

    I read the book when it came out and liked it a lot, but could see some people going 'wait what? fuck this' and I figured trying to visualize it would only make it more divisive, which I guess maybe it has? Except the endings differ substantially in tone and... content, kindof, in a way that's hard to explain non-spoilery. I think the movie is doing basically the same thing but far more metaphorically. And while I appreciate what Kaufman tried to go for here, I'm kindof disappointed that he didn't keep it more similar - where the novel ties things together in a revelatory twist/mindblow that also grounds the whole thing and is emotional, the movie instead doubles down on the weirdness/surreality, in a way that undermines that emotionality and leaves viewers who haven't read the book, I would guess, pretty lost as to wtf they just watched. Maybe/maybe not - it'll be interesting to hear interpretations from those people, I guess; it's hard to judge like...I actually worried the movie was tipping it's hand too early, while watching, but that may've just been me knowing where it's headed. And so like, oddly enough I feel like Kaufman COULD HAVE pulled off a great adaptation of the book, despite my concerns about how difficult it'd be, and yet then just decided NOT to, in order to go for a totally different presentation of the ending instead. Which as I say left me detached from it and a little annoyed. I kinda hope Jim and A.Ron read the book first or will after, esp if...from the times I've heard Jim talking about surrealist stuff etc I dunno if he's gonna dig this hah. In general I think it's a shame that some people who might've loved it were it closer to the book will now bounce off of it and feel like 'uh huh, ok' about it, when the credits hit

    Visually the movie was great. I'm one of the people who really loved the car/conversation scenes the most, the acting from both leads was fantastic although this is one time I feel like Jesse Plemons was himself overshadowed/DIDN'T steal his scenes hah, gotta look up the actress and see what else she has done... but yeah, in the end (literally), maybe Kaufman just couldn't or wouldn't reign in his self-indulgent/artsy tendencies, and the artifice of that kinda encases or frosts things over in a way that left me at a distance, and it didn't havta be that way. For that reason it probly works better as an interesting companion piece to the book than on its own I'd imagine
    I haven't read the book, but a comment about Kaufman and books...what you're describing is kind of what he does.  Like the movie Adaptation was meant to be an adaptation of the book 'The Orchid Thief' but instead became a movie about his struggles with adapting that book and not about the book itself.  I think he sees books as springboards for his own ideas and not something that he's obligated to be faithful to.
    Yeah, I do get that. And he's entitled to do it however he likes, and to some degree I appreciate making something that is complementary to a work rather than a straight conversion. But it doesn't put it above criticism; you can still make wrong choices. But in this case particularly, I think he could've done it the way he did it, with the tonal/'genre' shifts of the endings' presentation, plus the meta commentary stuff, and I would've loved it, IF ONLY it had also had one final scene/aspect from the book - as in, I feel like then he could've has his cake and eaten it, too - but as it is he just...has it. He has definitely added to the source material in some ways - the final part of the book could possibly, ironically, be critiqued as too 'generic' in a sense, and some of Kaufman's changes are audacious and I appreciate them, but the film is missing the book's gutpunch and elucidation and as such I think is robbed of its emotion and clarity. I'd be keen to see what you'd think/how you'd reply to my take after reading the book :) 
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    i was pretty let down by this. like someone mentioned, those car scenes were exhausting. i like the idea (acting and visually was good too) and i'm def gonna dip into the book. but the movie itself annoyed me. not the first time i was let down by Kaufman. funny thing is that i've been saying for years that Plemonds would be the perfect casting lead for a Philip Seymour Hoffman bio pick who starred in the other Kaufman flick i didn't care for (Synecdoche, New York).
  • I'm gonna refer to the ending of both the book and the movie here but VERY broadly/vaguely in ways I don't think spoil anything...

    I read the book when it came out and liked it a lot, but could see some people going 'wait what? fuck this' and I figured trying to visualize it would only make it more divisive, which I guess maybe it has? Except the endings differ substantially in tone and... content, kindof, in a way that's hard to explain non-spoilery. I think the movie is doing basically the same thing but far more metaphorically. And while I appreciate what Kaufman tried to go for here, I'm kindof disappointed that he didn't keep it more similar - where the novel ties things together in a revelatory twist/mindblow that also grounds the whole thing and is emotional, the movie instead doubles down on the weirdness/surreality, in a way that undermines that emotionality and leaves viewers who haven't read the book, I would guess, pretty lost as to wtf they just watched. Maybe/maybe not - it'll be interesting to hear interpretations from those people, I guess; it's hard to judge like...I actually worried the movie was tipping it's hand too early, while watching, but that may've just been me knowing where it's headed. And so like, oddly enough I feel like Kaufman COULD HAVE pulled off a great adaptation of the book, despite my concerns about how difficult it'd be, and yet then just decided NOT to, in order to go for a totally different presentation of the ending instead. Which as I say left me detached from it and a little annoyed. I kinda hope Jim and A.Ron read the book first or will after, esp if...from the times I've heard Jim talking about surrealist stuff etc I dunno if he's gonna dig this hah. In general I think it's a shame that some people who might've loved it were it closer to the book will now bounce off of it and feel like 'uh huh, ok' about it, when the credits hit

    Visually the movie was great. I'm one of the people who really loved the car/conversation scenes the most, the acting from both leads was fantastic although this is one time I feel like Jesse Plemons was himself overshadowed/DIDN'T steal his scenes hah, gotta look up the actress and see what else she has done... but yeah, in the end (literally), maybe Kaufman just couldn't or wouldn't reign in his self-indulgent/artsy tendencies, and the artifice of that kinda encases or frosts things over in a way that left me at a distance, and it didn't havta be that way. For that reason it probly works better as an interesting companion piece to the book than on its own I'd imagine
    I haven't read the book, but a comment about Kaufman and books...what you're describing is kind of what he does.  Like the movie Adaptation was meant to be an adaptation of the book 'The Orchid Thief' but instead became a movie about his struggles with adapting that book and not about the book itself.  I think he sees books as springboards for his own ideas and not something that he's obligated to be faithful to.
    Yeah, I do get that. And he's entitled to do it however he likes, and to some degree I appreciate making something that is complementary to a work rather than a straight conversion. But it doesn't put it above criticism; you can still make wrong choices. But in this case particularly, I think he could've done it the way he did it, with the tonal/'genre' shifts of the endings' presentation, plus the meta commentary stuff, and I would've loved it, IF ONLY it had also had one final scene/aspect from the book - as in, I feel like then he could've has his cake and eaten it, too - but as it is he just...has it. He has definitely added to the source material in some ways - the final part of the book could possibly, ironically, be critiqued as too 'generic' in a sense, and some of Kaufman's changes are audacious and I appreciate them, but the film is missing the book's gutpunch and elucidation and as such I think is robbed of its emotion and clarity. I'd be keen to see what you'd think/how you'd reply to my take after reading the book :) 
    I wrote a long review/opinion piece breaking down my interpretation of the movie.  I wanted to get my thoughts out and on the record before I read the book.  Sadly, the internet swallowed my homework :(  I had my posts wrapped in spoiler tags and when I tried to preview my post before posting it to make sure that my post was actually hidden in the spoiler tags something went wrong and my post got deleted.

    Anyway, I have what I think is a pretty solid understanding of the film so I will now definitely read the book and see how they compare.
  • I'm gonna refer to the ending of both the book and the movie here but VERY broadly/vaguely in ways I don't think spoil anything...

    I read the book when it came out and liked it a lot, but could see some people going 'wait what? fuck this' and I figured trying to visualize it would only make it more divisive, which I guess maybe it has? Except the endings differ substantially in tone and... content, kindof, in a way that's hard to explain non-spoilery. I think the movie is doing basically the same thing but far more metaphorically. And while I appreciate what Kaufman tried to go for here, I'm kindof disappointed that he didn't keep it more similar - where the novel ties things together in a revelatory twist/mindblow that also grounds the whole thing and is emotional, the movie instead doubles down on the weirdness/surreality, in a way that undermines that emotionality and leaves viewers who haven't read the book, I would guess, pretty lost as to wtf they just watched. Maybe/maybe not - it'll be interesting to hear interpretations from those people, I guess; it's hard to judge like...I actually worried the movie was tipping it's hand too early, while watching, but that may've just been me knowing where it's headed. And so like, oddly enough I feel like Kaufman COULD HAVE pulled off a great adaptation of the book, despite my concerns about how difficult it'd be, and yet then just decided NOT to, in order to go for a totally different presentation of the ending instead. Which as I say left me detached from it and a little annoyed. I kinda hope Jim and A.Ron read the book first or will after, esp if...from the times I've heard Jim talking about surrealist stuff etc I dunno if he's gonna dig this hah. In general I think it's a shame that some people who might've loved it were it closer to the book will now bounce off of it and feel like 'uh huh, ok' about it, when the credits hit

    Visually the movie was great. I'm one of the people who really loved the car/conversation scenes the most, the acting from both leads was fantastic although this is one time I feel like Jesse Plemons was himself overshadowed/DIDN'T steal his scenes hah, gotta look up the actress and see what else she has done... but yeah, in the end (literally), maybe Kaufman just couldn't or wouldn't reign in his self-indulgent/artsy tendencies, and the artifice of that kinda encases or frosts things over in a way that left me at a distance, and it didn't havta be that way. For that reason it probly works better as an interesting companion piece to the book than on its own I'd imagine
    I haven't read the book, but a comment about Kaufman and books...what you're describing is kind of what he does.  Like the movie Adaptation was meant to be an adaptation of the book 'The Orchid Thief' but instead became a movie about his struggles with adapting that book and not about the book itself.  I think he sees books as springboards for his own ideas and not something that he's obligated to be faithful to.
    Yeah, I do get that. And he's entitled to do it however he likes, and to some degree I appreciate making something that is complementary to a work rather than a straight conversion. But it doesn't put it above criticism; you can still make wrong choices. But in this case particularly, I think he could've done it the way he did it, with the tonal/'genre' shifts of the endings' presentation, plus the meta commentary stuff, and I would've loved it, IF ONLY it had also had one final scene/aspect from the book - as in, I feel like then he could've has his cake and eaten it, too - but as it is he just...has it. He has definitely added to the source material in some ways - the final part of the book could possibly, ironically, be critiqued as too 'generic' in a sense, and some of Kaufman's changes are audacious and I appreciate them, but the film is missing the book's gutpunch and elucidation and as such I think is robbed of its emotion and clarity. I'd be keen to see what you'd think/how you'd reply to my take after reading the book :) 
    I wrote a long review/opinion piece breaking down my interpretation of the movie.  I wanted to get my thoughts out and on the record before I read the book.  Sadly, the internet swallowed my homework :(  I had my posts wrapped in spoiler tags and when I tried to preview my post before posting it to make sure that my post was actually hidden in the spoiler tags something went wrong and my post got deleted.

    Anyway, I have what I think is a pretty solid understanding of the film so I will now definitely read the book and see how they compare.
    Aw man I feel ya, and for ya; I literally, for one of the first times in my life ever, VERY conscientiously copied n pasted what I wrote here into a word doc before hitting Post Comment cos i've been burned toooo many times before. Never trust a webform ever. Sometimes now I try to just write em up in word first or smth then copy and paste. I'm sure your second draft will be better than the first anyway though. 

    And like yourself this movie made me busting to say my piece about it. Do you also find yourself writing this shit in your head, before you even can or do sit down to write it? and that it drives you nuts goin round in your head until you do? Cos that's what happened to me and why I posted my reply at I think about 4am my time hah.

    Man, my thoughts about that keep goin round n round - along with this girl I once loved, and this icecream place I went to, and my parents dyin, and those musicals...it all swirls around n round.

    I dunno. I'm thinking of ending things.

    lol kidding! (...mostly hah) 
  • In regards to the differences between the book and the movie endings (and again major spoilers here):

    As you say the book is much clearer in its twist, but the twist (while admittedly pretty mind blowing) does somewhat amount to little more than “and then they woke up and it was all a dream.” I felt a bit robbed at first, but ultimately appreciated the experience of the book as a whole.

    The movie is a lot more symbolic and abstract, and the problem with the twist remains. But I too (with the prior knowledge of the end) really enjoyed Kaufman’s almost Lynchian take on the ending. Again, I found the third act to be the weaker part of an otherwise mesmerising movie, but appreciated the different experience Kaufman gave us.

    I’d say maybe the film has the more memorable ending, while actually being less distressing (and one could argue effective) than the pure darkness of the descent into madness I recall from the novel. I don’t know, may have to reread the book to compare!

    Still, it has inspired some great conversation on here so mission accomplished from Kaufman in my eyes! Looking forward to hearing what J&A think of this tomorrow...



  • This was extremely close to my take on the movie:

    https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/im-thinking-of-ending-things-ending-explained/

    I'd add that the age of his parents change because he's had the fantasy of the woman for years and years and has lived that out in his mind hundreds of times so what we're seeing is that same fantasy at different points in his life...that's why his parents are different ages, why her name changes, why her clothes change, why her job changes - they're all slight variations on his imaged life with this woman that have changed slightly over the years
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    edited September 9
    i mean, i got that when the whole parent scene was happening. and he was the sad janitor with coulda, shoulda, woulda then kills himself. just didn't do it for me at all. at all.
  • Haven’t seen anyone else mention this, but I was thinking the other day and realized this film features an actor from each season of Fargo: Oliver Platt from season 1 as the pig, Jesse plemmons from season 2, David thewlis from season 3, and Jessie Buckley from the upcoming season 4. Just a cool little detail
    CretanBull
  • Haven’t seen anyone else mention this, but I was thinking the other day and realized this film features an actor from each season of Fargo: Oliver Platt from season 1 as the pig, Jesse plemmons from season 2, David thewlis from season 3, and Jessie Buckley from the upcoming season 4. Just a cool little detail
    I was close, I didn't realize that Platt was the pig but I pointed out to my friend that Plemmons, Thewlis and Buckley were all from Fargo.
  • Watched this for a 2nd time and it only solidified it as my favorite movie of the year, but it’s also quickly approaching “masterpiece” status for Kaufman IMO.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    edited September 14
    I watched this last night. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. So i think I might be in the minority. However, I went from thinking last night that I really didn't care to pick apart the movie all that much. But the more that it sits with me, the more I want to hear what other people thought. Well, those that enjoyed it anyway. It doesn't help me whatsoever to read people shitting on someone else's hard work. So my opinion on this is in flux, but I am thinking I liked it more than I didn't, and it seems to be going further in that direction the more I think about it. 
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