Kiarostami's (sadly unplanned) swan song feels like an homage to still art while simultaneously acknowledging its limitations, brilliantly adding chess pieces to beautiful works of art—mostly Kiarostami's own photography and often in the form of animals—to expand their reach via new visual layers. (Of course, one could argue, and many would, that one of the joy's of still art is that everything's left to the imagination outside of the single image.) Conceptually audacious and often breathtaking to look at and…
Well, it certainly feels like Kafka from a structural perspective...and it actually feels like Haneke, too, with its intense close-ups, detached emotional style, and assaults on convention (here, corporate bureaucracy). But I found this mostly uninteresting; 131 minutes is way too long of a runtime, and there's an awkward disconnect between the independent visions of the two artists here. It just never feels in sync. Easily my least favorite Haneke that I've seen, barely earning its two stars for mostly formal accomplishment purposes.
A movie too perfect and beautiful, too me, to really write much about...so full of glorious minutiae and intricacies, so easily paced that its massive power is almost impossible to comprehend in its entirety during an initial viewing. And while Elio and Oliver's connection/love is impeccably (and exceedingly delicately) portrayed, the father/mother/son dynamic between Elio and his parents might be even more exceptional...rarely have I felt my soul so firmly, magically intertwined with an onscreen relationship like I did here.…
Extended Cut. Third viewing, and I'm now convinced that this is one of the truly titanic works of the past 25 years (and it'd already ranked among my top 15 since 2000). Was acutely aware this time around of just how extraordinary (and how daring) Lonergan's use of sound is here—frequent sequences garner their power almost exclusively via city conversation/noise overlays of the scene in question's central focus, and the approach, while risky as all hell, somehow always manages to…