Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home: a short review

I went to see the latest Tim Burton film, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I found it mildly enjoyable - I think young teenagers would relate to it better than I did.

It did, however, have one feature I thought worth mentioning. The portrayal of the female characters was better than you usually find in the cinema or on TV. The two younger female characters were undeniably feminine: physically graceful, dressed prettily and a little emotionally vulnerable. It was credible that they would attract romantic interest from the younger male characters.

And then there was Miss Peregrine herself. I am someone who believes that the human body gives us a clue as to our telos - the qualities that we are supposed to cultivate and develop toward. You can see glimpses, at times, in the female body of a certain kind of nobility. Miss Peregrine's "peculiarity" in the film is the care of the young, and her dedication to this gave a depth to her character which, along with her bearing, did at times suggest a kind of feminine nobility.

Miss Peregrine is, in some ways, still following the older understanding of caritas - of a particular, concrete love that is settled in the will. She is not, in other words, just following her heart wherever it leads, no matter what the damage to others. She has a duty, founded on the love of the children in her care, to which she is willing to make sacrifices.

So, despite its quirkiness, and despite some features that are likely to irritate traditionalists, it did not strike me as being, at its core, a liberal film.


  1. John Derbyshire mentioned this movie recently: specifically, a Los Angeles Times article that criticized it for depicting all the children as white. In Wales, in World War II.

    1. Interesting. John Derbyshire's commentary can be found here too.

      Tim Burton was savaged by the Los Angeles Times for having too many white people in a film set in Wales in 1943. It's as if liberal modernity is narrowing down people's options for normalcy.

      In other words, if even a Democrat supporting director of quirky, artsy films is now being judged to have committed thought crimes of various sorts - what hope have the rest of us got?

    2. In other words, if even a Democrat supporting director of quirky, artsy films is now being judged to have committed thought crimes of various sorts - what hope have the rest of us got?

      Bob Dylan's getting the SJW two-minute hate treatment as well. How dare a white male cishet sexist patriarchal oppressor get a Nobel Prize. Bob Dylan, for crying out loud.

      The lesson is that the main targets of the Thought Police these days are leftists.

    3. Yes, good comment. I saw that too - leftists complaining that Bob Dylan - of the "times they are a changing" fame - didn't deserve the Nobel because he's a white guy. There's a good side, I suppose, to the fact that leftists too are now coming under attack from the Thought Police - maybe some younger intellectuals will think twice about signing on to the left if they know they won't be spared.

    4. Bob Dylan, if he ever was one, hasn' t been a leftist since about 1963. The evidence strongly indicates he supported the Vietnam War, it is conclusive that he despised draft-dodgers, he is on record, either in song, interview or otherwise, as having attacked abortion, homosexuality (he was a no-show at a daughter's same-sex 'marriage' recently), feminism, globalism and supports Israel. He once expressed regret at NY State gun laws which prevented him from shooting hippies who were invading his property and in response to a query in an interview about gun-control stated that 'there's not enough guns'. He has expressed scepticism of climate-change, very categorically refused to endorse Obama at the last presidential election and in his autobiography nominated Barry Goldwater as his favourite ever politician. He has been known to write to servicemen on active duty, has played in West Point and has criticised the self-indulgent way some divas sing the US National Anthem. He professes a very illiberal Christianity, including his love for the Mother of God. That most of the mainstream media engage in a wish-fantasy that Dylan is a leftist does not make him one.

  2. Those who control the present must negrify the past so they can negrify the future.