Most enjoyable when it goes full screwball, but this is another film this year about co-opting someone else’s life/work for the sake of art and then that person being mad. Except unlike WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, there’s more empathy here, maybe having Gerwig’s influence instead of Stiller’s softens the Baumbach. It certainly makes the film go down easier.
He’s not going to win any directing accolades any time soon, but this sad, sweet, funny story does not outstay its welcome one bit and is told with the well-worn perfection and charm of a comedian who has shopped this material over and over (and performed in a Broadway play about it).
Stunning. This might be a 10 on another viewing just because it is so knotty and there’s no way I caught everything that is wonderful about this film. But I caught a lot. Best blocking of any film ever? Probably. Best sunglasses? Definitely. This is a goddam motion picture, folks. And please, my God, anyone who is planning to make a movie that makes use of space (every movie ever), please study how this film makes sure that we know exactly where everyone is in relation to everyone else at all times. Study that tailing scene in the streets! Study it!
[review of festival cut]
Suddenly not so angry that there are multiple cuts to this film as it is clearly a case of a really good movie struggling to be told. The shots are there, I think, but there is something off about how it is put together, rhythmically and otherwise. It wants to be about Ip Man, it wants to be about Gong Er, and revolutionary/civil war China, and the golden age of Chinese martial arts, but by doing…