Quiet and dignified. Builds its power through the humility of its subjects. Almost too determined to avoid the most dramatic moments of the story. Beautifully paced, though perhaps a little overlong. Led by two exquisite performances - Ruth Negga communicates so much through subtleties in her eyes and body language, gaining confidence but never forgetting Mildred's essential reticence.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This is the kind of wistful auburn drama that's so easy to watch, you feel harsh pointing out everything that's wrong with it. But it's so aware of being that kind of film, to the extent that the first piece of classical music that plays from Elizabeth Olsen's mixtape gift to Josh Radnor, soundtracking his journey back out of the rosy green backwoods of Ohio, is Beethoven's 'Pastoral' symphony. It's so deeply aware of itself that this mixtape becomes the…
Deeply humanist, but philosophical about it. While the human drama is typically the stuff of soap operas, it's treated with such thoughtful, generous balance that it seems both quotidian and rich in provocation at once. The camera is alert but not aggravated, just as the script is constantly alive to every human possibility, and together they elevate the experience of watching to one that envelops the viewer in its compassionate glow and reconnects them to an intellectualism led by feeling rather than political anguish.
Oh, and Isabelle Huppert is sublime, but you knew that.