Werewolf ★★★

60/100

Tough to do anything novel with the junkies-in-love subgenre, and first-time director Ashley McKenzie never quite comes up with a compelling reason for the existence of this particular film, which covers exceedingly familiar ground. Her raw talent bleeds through the clichés, though, firmly marking her as Someone To Watch. Striking compositions alternate between isolating characters in a vast suburban wasteland and pushing in so close that they spill out of the frame; rhythms are slightly jumpy but not jagged, which is refreshing given the context. Performances are strong, too, especially Bhreagh MacNeil as the slightly spacey yet ultimately more practical Nessa. (I'm also now retroactively even more impressed by Arielle Holmes' work in Heaven Knows What, as she essentially plays both of these roles simultaneously.) Mostly just promising, but plenty of details have lingered in the weeks since I saw it, from the workings of the methadone clinic to the weary patience of the lawnmower-repair dude. And I'm a sucker for people dispensing soft-serve ice cream onscreen, for some reason. Still annoyed that Reygadas removed those scenes from Silent Light post-Cannes.