Midsommar ★★★★★

I went to see this a second time with a friend of mine, and had talked to him some about my thoughts from the first viewing (sans spoilers of course). I mentioned to him, as I mentioned in my brief first thoughts here, that I was feeling very firmly that the film was great, but even with things I wanted to sort out on a second watch, I didn't feel it had room to grow into that perfect score the way that Hereditary did for me.

I was a buffoon, apparently. Knowing what was coming, I felt the emotions become even more pronounced, and looking at the foreshadowing, and the finer details, the trajectory of the film felt as clear as the summer sky.

I'm not sure how I want to approach talking about this movie as a whole even still, but I do want to offer up another anecdote, I think. For the first showing, I actually talked a coworker friend into seeing the movie that night as well. I'd talked this same person into seeing Hereditary back when it came out, and while he was unsure what to make of it the first time (being a bit out of his wheelhouse I think), he saw it again later and seemed to come to like it. This time around, he certainly found it "fucking weird", but he seemed to really feel positively about it. He told me that he thought about it a lot as he left the theater, and he wasn't sure what to make of it, but that it felt like he'd experienced something. Like he, and everyone in the theater, was some kind of family now who had gone through something together. I'm not sure I can say anything more poignant than that about this film. It's just such a perfect takeaway.

I want to talk about the things that I particularly like about the film, but it's everything, so what can I say? There is so much fine detail, planning, foreshadowing, and carefully structured continuity. It's a gorgeous film, from the locations, the set design, the effects, the editing, the score, and sound design. Pugh gives a powerhouse performance, and while much more of a peripheral character, I think Poulter is a delight. The film is hilarious, heartbreaking, shocking, but so very comforting as well. Unlike Hereditary, which very much demonstrates the complete destruction of a family in the bleakest of scenarios, there is an overwhelming sense of warmth and empathy running through the core of Midsommar. It's harrowing and violent, but so keenly focused on cultivating a network of people that understand, and care about you, and cutting ties to toxicity in your life. Maybe in more extreme ways than necessary, but hey...take care of yourself haha.

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