“I’m cooler than a cooler/
Big shouts out to my jeweler.”
— Chief Keef
Look, it’s not that it’s not upper-tier Baumbach, but it’s nowhere near THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, GREENBERG or FRANCES HA. As a lifelong Baumbach Stan, I have to say I was expecting more given all the unanimous praise (but I knew I should have been wary, for that exact same reason). MARRIAGE STORY certainly contains some of the best scenes of his career, and Adam Driver entirely loses himself in the proxy/surrogate role that I quickly forgot it was…
I don't believe I've ever seen a film that's equally cruel as it is empathetic to its characters. Watching these identities unfold -- or not -- becomes, stealthily, an almost unbearably draining, unsettling experience. The interplay of gender and class with paranoia and vulnerability here is something of an unprecedented chemical reaction; a serene, realistic waking nightmare.
Imagine having this much confidence in your storytelling, pacing, form, and ambiguity... BURNING is essentially the cinematic equivalent of negative space; SCHRODINGER'S CAT:…
APOCALYPSE NOW x THE LAST OF US x 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY x UNDER THE SKIN x MISSION TO MARS x STALKER x THE THING x SOLARIS x THE VILLAGE x STARGATE x ALIEN. And yet... entirely its own brilliant concoction. Smart, adult, uncompromising.
The closest a film has come to depicting an acid trip, I think. Unnerving and scary as all hell. The score felt like SICARIO’s blended with ARRIVAL’s; foreign, alien, beguiling, almost welcoming, beyond tense. Shouts to Portishead, and RIP Johann Johannsson. Portman reeeeally improving as an actor - incredibly committed.
2018 in film basically already better than all of 2017.