Atlantics ★★★★½

I haven't been able to get my mind off this one for the last few days. It's not an easy film to describe, at least not if you want to preserve the first-time thrill of sensing its unique narrative conceit falling into place with a masterful elegance; seems more efficient to tell you that it has the elemental quality of some enchanting story you heard when you were a kid, fused with the heartrending drama of one's greatest romantic longings. The two completely unrelated things it called to mind for me were Murnau's Tabu and the haunting Earl Hamner-written Twilight Zone episode "Jess-Belle" -- stories that revolve around adolescent love but capture the actual feeling of adolescent love: that the entire constantly-in-motion earth itself is at stake. Meanwhile, this is one of the most visually singular movies of the decade, which so much to see and hear and sink into. Mati Diop corrals these performances and the score (by Fatima Al Qadiri) with a sense of deep feeling, with all involved parties seemingly locked into some intensely felt, urgent destiny. It's all quite intoxicating really, and the further I get from it the clearer and more robust it seems.