Katie Speare’s review published on Letterboxd:
okay, we're going to get through this.
** sharp inhale **
I thought a lot about how I would structure this, because the sheer number of crimes against cinema taking place here are hard to pin down in isolation without getting into other structural and characterization issues along the way. So instead, I just decided to make a list of the worst offenders:
1) As mentioned in my A Star is Born review, mid90s proves that Jonah Hill has never talked to a woman before, or if he has, he wasn't listening. Katherine Waterson deserves more than this. The issues with her character become very apparent in at the end the movie, where she shows up for the first time since 20 minutes ago when we saw her son rudely SCREAM at her for being upset about her obviously warranted parenting/roast of his shitty friends. When we see her again, she has just arrived at the hospital where these same shitty friends just drunk drove her kid into a crash. Upon seeing the friends wait for him, she has a change of heart, and realizes her son was being loved and supported all along. Confused? I was too.
2) That scene. You know the one. (note: I'd have less issue with this scene if it served the primary purpose of making a statement about gender role reversal and socially acceptable rape; however, the film came down harder on Stevie, seemingly chastising him for his subsequent transformation into a fuck boy. Boy being the operative word.)
3) The title. Oh my god. If The Favourite was called Period Piece would anyone stand for that? No. They wouldn't. This is lazy, plain and simple.
4) You'd probably have a better time watching this movie if you went in with a 90s bingo card, and just checked off every time something from the 90s was brought up (but of course it never interacted with the "plot" in any meaningful way).
5) The "Plot". This term is being used loosely here. Conflict is brought up, and dropped just as fast. None of the sources of tension in the film have any meaningful payoff. mid90s shows you everything, but says nothing and that's a problem when you're dealing with topics such as racism, homophobia, and sexism. Cinema Verite my left ass cheek, you pick what you show, jonah, and you have to own that.
Honorable Mention: Lucas Hedges was horribly miscast. Let the soft boy be his best soft boy self.
I'll probably add to this list as some point because this is by no means exhaustive, but mid90s sure was, even at a mere 90 minutes.