Waves ★★

Unfortunately, I really didn't care for this. Most of the performances are great and there's moments of really cool (albeit showy) kinetic cinematography but maaaaaaaaan this movie is such a mess. For what it's worth, I think this is just a slightly more competent neon-tinted Life Itself (2018) meant to pander directly to the 'A24 is life' gen-z crowd.  Yes, Mr. Trey Edward Shults I know you want to have your own Magnolia and do your ambitious emotional epic with an ensemble of characters to make some grand statement on how humanity treats each other. And I understand the point is that we're watching this kid fall into a downwards spiral - but watching an abusive sports bro with literally zero redeeming or sympathetic qualities is just super uncomfortable and genuinely upsetting at points. I'm aware the downfall is the intended effect, but I don't think the movie has much to say about this behavior beyond "oh he's human too". And then completely shifting the movie to an entirely different character who doesn't push the plot forward at all was...a choice.

A big deal has been made about the movie's use of music, and honestly I found a lot of the choices kind of obvious or emotionally manipulative. Like yeah, go ahead and play "I Am A God" while the main character is about to go on a drug-fueled rampage. Very subtle there. The big emotional climax came and went...and I felt nothing. I’m happy if this connects for people, but it really did not for me. 

I loved Krisha and It Comes at Night too! Oh well.

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