Midsommar ★★★★★

Nej. The Queen must ride alone.

A few hours ago, something happened that caused me to leave work early and start hyperventilating as I walked up Third Street toward the subway. My first thought wasn't how to calm myself down, it was—for whatever reason—how similarly Midsommar's Dani Ardor and I cry. Everything stiffens, like I’ve been electrocuted; my breath catches in my throat and I stutter out groans of pain; I don't actually want to let go of the hurt, but rather swallow it whole. When I got home, I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to revisit Aster's film as soon as possible, that perhaps my audience's communal "funny ha ha" reaction back in June wrongly turned me against it. I was right.

I love this picture—it hit me so intensely tonight (the catharsis circle scene...!), a complete 180 from my first viewing. I only wish the camera never left Florence Pugh, as I could watch her performance stretch on infinitely and it still wouldn't be enough. During the final scene, I was again ugly-sobbing, tears violently pouring down my face. Despite my (typical) impulse to stay enveloped in sadness, I forced a smile alongside Dani at the last second. I resumed wailing almost instantly, but that little glimmer of relief truly felt euphoric—even if just for a moment.

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