Directing overtakes the lead performance, thankfully and I can’t help but think that this is the film that inspired ole mate Darren Aronovsky for mother! Rather than Rosemary’s Baby.
(Except Polanski has a subtler hand that smells of the avant garde filtered through the horror genre)
Fare’s very well.
Grief as communal experience underpins every scene in Wang’s magnetic exploration of family. She beautifully sets usually individual - or rather, private - experiences in shared spaces and amid public events. The wedding reception, the dressing room, the hotel hallways, the most emotional scenes in the film are exposed - or rather beautifully shared - in these spaces. Carefully handled by Wang, these scenes and each individual performance within them, reinterpret the melodrama of classic Hollywood cinema…
The funniest anti-horror horror film I’ve ever seen. Give me pubes in pies and the signature Ari Aster ‘head’ stuff with a sprinkle of floral distortions (a la Annihilation) and I am THeRE.
Sure it’s self-reflexivity takes the venom out of the drive of the narrative and sub-plots divide any key conceptual thread but this very same self-reflexivness makes it that much more effective (or at least gives it some metafictive ground to stand on and launch itself from). It’s…