RR Films: Mistakes

As they go, Theresa May’s decision to call an election rates as a mistake of Titanic proportions, sinking her reputation and putting her at the mercy of a bunch of homophobic, misogynist creationists. And the campaign itself was strewn with missteps and misjudgements that wouldn’t be out of place in a Coen Brothers film, all piling on top of one another to increase the certainty of disaster and the count of dead bodies, both innocent and guilty. And this one really is a true story…..

But I’ll pick a film where the mistake brings about something good – like Jezza confounding all his critics and opening the door on a possibly more equitable future – The Lunchbox, in which the wonderfully intricate Mumbai tiffin delivery service has a hiccup and the consequences bring love to an unlikely couple. Sometimes the wrong train can bring you to the right station is the film’s tagline; I have found this to be delightfully true.

What films about mistakes would you recommend?

10 thoughts on “RR Films: Mistakes

    • Bish whetted my appetite for The Lunchbox and I loved it, although I would have preferred the woman to have had a bit more of a backbone, if I’m honest.
      Sometimes the wrong train can bring you to the right station is an invaluable thought though.

  1. Stan and Ollie give the deeds to the goldmine to the wrong woman. OK, they’re fooled into handing the deeds over. Then they realise their mistake and get them back and then Stan gets tickled on a bed.


  2. An unexpectedly difficult topic in that a lot of films have mistakes in them but not many have the mistake as the driver of the plot. Anyway I’m going with ‘ The Tree of Wooden Clogs’ a 1978 film by Ermanno Olmi set in 1898 in northern Italy. It tells the story of a poor group of farmers who scrape out a meagre existence from the land. The son of one of the farmers proves to be intellectually gifted and qualifies for a good school though he has to walk a good distance each morning to attend it. On one of these journeys one of his wooden clogs snaps and to repair it his father cuts down part of one of the landowner’s trees and carves a new one. The landowner duly discovers who has done it and evicts the family from their farmhouse ! The farmer’s mistake has thrown them all onto the street ! A great film. And as Chris mentioned the Coen brothers in the blurb, Fargo is a perfect fit for this too.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this topic since Chris first posted it and, I must admit, I am struggling to think of films that strictly fit the bill in terms of the plot having a mistake as the central plot device. However, mistaken identity is a rich vein in filmic terms and I am going to nom what I think of as the best Star Trek film that isn’t actually a Star Trek film, i.e. Galaxy Quest, where the whole plot is based around the cast of the eponymous TV series being mistaken for the actual heroic crew of the starship Protector.

    The casting is superb, with the animosity between the various characters being played out brilliantly. Of course, it is all fiction. Surely there were never any tensions between the members of the original cast of Star Trek?

  4. The Cabin In The Woods. Explains why potential victims in horror films make increasingly poor decisions. Things go horribly wrong.

  5. This is tougher than i thought. CaroleBristol is right, mistaken identify is probably the most common example of this kind of plot device and there are plenty of them out there – North by Northwest perhaps?

    I was also minded to think about 28 Days Later, where the mistake of testing ‘Rage’ on animals is combined with the mistakes made in the laboratory which allowed the virus to spread.

  6. Sorry if this was a toughie; I hope it explains the low footfall…..

    A couple of other films outside of Coenland that I considered were In Bruges (the initial mistaken assassination kicks the tale off) and The Last Seduction (if only Clay hadn’t slapped Bridget – he didn’t really intend to!).

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