Still Gyllenhaal's best outing, but sadly not as incredible as I remember. It's largely well-written but the direction just seems off, and I'm still not sure it knows what it's trying to say about the whole 'tenacity/insanity' dynamic - at least not in the way that something like Whiplash manages so well
I'd forgotten just how gorgeous and consistently well shot this film is (surprising given the rare absence of Robert Elswit); rather than opening up the frame to greater depth, the 65mm instead gives the introspection of Phoenix/Hoffman an overwhelming claustrophobia. 'Freddie Quell' and 'Lancaster Dodd' might also be PTA's best-titled protagonists (*Reynolds Woodcock pending*).
Groundbreaking science fiction it may be, the cocky and irresponsible male characters (the hallmark of sci-fi expeditions) and occasionally clunky exposition left me a little disappointed. Most frustrating of all is its portrayal of Altaira, the planet's Witless Babe - unsurprising given its 50s context but a massive waste of narrative potential nonetheless.
Still, enjoyable enough for those *gorgeous* sets and pioneering sound design - and Robby, of course