On Body and Soul ★★★★★

What a beauty. Between this and Moonlight, I'm so glad we had two low-key stories about love that tell more with faces and expressions than with words. Borbély Alexandra and Morcsányi Géza are both fantastic. Borbély has a lot of responsibility in playing a character who's struggling with self-expression, and the small moments in which she slips up and lets an emotion flit across her face are incredibly powerful. I generally haven't had issues with the acting in Hungarian movies in the recent years, but On Body and Soul is still the best-acted movie I've seen in a long time, thanks in no small part to the memorable supporting cast.

Enyedi Ildikó's script uses humor perfectly to ground this supernatural, ethereal love story. The distinct faces of the workplace environment, the surrealities of working in a slaughterhouse wonderfully balance the otherworldly nature of Morcsányi's and Borbély's romance. The comedy of the awkward situations feels earned, never exploitative of the main characters' disabilities.

Szalai Károly's editing is top-notch, award-worthy throughout the movie. The rhythm with which we are introduced to the main characters, the cuts that reveal their body language, their faces, are absolutely perfect. The juxtapositions of the two main characters' lives and their dreams all carry loads of information.

Enyedi tells her story beautifully, with using every aspect of filmmaking to its full potential, including Herbai Máté's cinematography which is simply gorgeous. The colors and the tone of the nature shots are striking, but every environment has its own feel. I need to rewatch this movie and study it to mine all its aspects and its layers.

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