Allison M. 🌱’s review published on Letterboxd:
I may have Insta-stalked you.
Amazing cinematography from Drew Daniels: standing on Michael Ballhaus' shoulders, yet having quite a modern and fluid spin. You'll definitely be wanting to see this film in the theaters to catch the full effect of the swirling camera movement.
Later in the film, the formats change and it goes all over the place. It doesn't transition as well, as say Xavier Dolan's Mommy. It still totally worked for me, even though it's a huge no-no in filmmaking. While not being wild about all the song choices, I was in awe of the jarring score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Its lack of subtlety may bother some people, but for me it brought a sense of urgency.
The setting is Miami, Florida. However, the family's house looks like the Krisha house in Texas, there's an exterior Missouri shot, and the closing credits show that it was at least partially filmed in New York. The producers also thank a multitude of cities.
The story is simple: the dynamics of the family are slowly unveiled. Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays Tyler, a senior in high school. His father (Sterling K. Brown) puts undue pressure on him; Tyler seeks to outperform everyone and keeps his problems a secret from the ones who love him the most. Other strong characters include Alexis (Alexa Demie), Tyler's girlfriend who he has in his contacts as "Goddess" and Renée Elise Goldsberry, who plays Catharine. The film explores different things. The tonal shifts might throw too many people off, as we delve more into the world of Emily (Taylor Russell). The audience laughed at her love interest's (Lucas Hedges) awkward attempts to become her boyfriend. But I don't mind Trey Edward Shults' execution of his vision. It's a long film, but worth the wait ... and the weight.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. also garnered some attention for Luce earlier this year. While that film is solid, Waves seems to have more heart and emotion.
-Reference to meat in the spaghetti sauce and eating burgers three times a day
-Fishing scene and reference to fishing (no fish shown)
-Luke (Lucas Hedges) loves manatees
-Emily wants to help animals and has a cat