The Green Knight

The Green Knight ★★★★½

A24 has put out a few great movies, some good ones, some mediocre ones, and sizable amount of one I do not like. Some look alike, most don't, but hey, I'm not here to stop the "ugh, A24 house style, lol" people from jerking themselves off. We all do it, to one degree or another. I can see why people would call this stuffy or portentous, but none of the stylistic choices here felt like Lowery trying to convince me of the importance or magnitude of the story. Maybe you could argue Pete's Dragon is Lowery attempting to be epic, but he also did a lot of work on that story and script to downplay the awe and bolster the intimacy. Otherwise, the guy has been exclusively interested in intimacy and nuance, small conflicts, battles, and discussions that underline the struggle to just be a person in a time where people trust legends and myths more than themselves and the people they see every day. That is Gaiwan's folly - that he fully believes in his destiny to become a knight of legend and will jettison his own loves, opinions, and even impulses in his pursuit of that which was promised to him by his lineage. Lowery's ambitions are larger here and as a result, his direction never feels quite as assured as in The Old Man and the Gun. Even that uneasiness seems built into what Lowery is expressing here in adapting a text about legends - the impossibility of embracing and celebrating myth or history without also embracing and celebrating the irrevocable, unforgivable violence that created it, fortified it, and allows it to continue on. But yeah, sure, it's an instagram movie or whatever.