Midsommar ★★★★


++ The next day:
Mostly I have to credit Aster for keeping me interested scene to scene. He’s a deliberate and inventive craftsman and the cult itself, its cheerfully menacing constituents, its rituals and its architecture were all compelling. I remain queasy about the relationship Aster exploits between mental illness and horror. This one seemed to be at least somewhat concerned with the chronic agony of mental illness and the powerful appeal of a community that offered to share that pain - whatever its other quirks.  

The thing I most appreciated about the movie was how Aster captured in a way I’ve never seen before the sickening dread of being in your 20s when everyone else seems to be getting their shit together but you’re just stuck: in the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong life. It’s a terrible kind of stasis with no past, no future, just the eternally superficial present. And the real horror for me was seeing myself (my 20s self anyway) in Jack Raynor’s Christian. Not a bad guy probably, but someone whose intimacies are entirely superficial.

But of course this isn’t Christian’s Story; it’s Dani’s. And Aster is lucky to have Pugh to carry the movie’s considerable emotional burden.