Armageddon Time

Armageddon Time ★★★★★


I have read a lot of comparisons to The 400 Blows but really this is James Gray's Au Revoir Les Enfants. It is just as earnest, just as sentimental and just as honest as Malle's film in its attempts by its creator to grapple with certain choices that were made and which have probably weighed heavily ever since.

There is a specificity of memory here that sets this apart from the numerous other coming of age films that have appeared over the years and Gray also successfully mimics something like the psychological mise en scene of Nicholas Ray's 50s masterpieces about family dynamics.

One could reasonably argue that this paints a particular African American character as a stereotype and uses him as a screenwriting crutch for a moral lesson but, personally, I found that to be part and parcel of the subjective specificity that is very much intentional by Gray and therefore also part of the personal reckoning that he is trying to attempt by making this film in the first place.

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