For some reason, I’ve never seen E.T. Until this week, when I got a chance to see it on a big screen courtesy of Noah Bambauch who chose it as one of his favorite films
This might seem like an odd choice for the director of Marriage Story, but E.T. is also, in part, a tale of divorce.
The child hero, Elliot, is living in a single parent as his father has run off with another woman.
The discovery of the Alien E.T. left behind on planet earth, is not only the discovery of a friend but also of someone who shares the pain of abandonment.
Elliot’s desire to help his friend return home, even though he loves him, is the shared understanding of the importance of returning to a familiar, loving world, just like the one he had lost when his father vanished.
The films’ special effects maybe hokey now, and the overly sappy ending maybe overdo the ain of departure, but at its core, E.T. remains moving and real because, like the best films, it centers itself around the old eternal truth, there’s no place like home.