Pure ★★★½

How to be a feminist who likes space & gay movies & other things
#5: "the first movie of a now-famous actress"

Alicia Vikander's performances can make even the most thoroughly average movie - The Danish Girl, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., etc. - seem great, and Pure is no exception. Vikander is just amazing here - she's heartbreaking, frustrating, and completely gives herself over to this role. She's the young adult from an unstable home with an even less stable future, who takes a job at a concert hall where she falls for the pervy conductor; while the script plays out like you probably think it does, Katarina as a character feels completely human, and you're totally with her even as everything around her falls apart. Vikander's performance is pure passion/emotion, and certainly elevates this movie - just to watch this without getting lost in those big, brown eyes.

Alicia Vikander is incredibly talented and deserving of her Oscar, and here she shows it in her first major film role. The movie suffers from a frustrating/predictable story, but Langseth's unique and (literal) in your face direction and Vikander's performance make it worth checking out. It's also worth it to see a short appearance by Martin Wallström in his pre-Mr. Robot days.

PS. I liked Man from U.N.C.L.E., at least a bit.

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