I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things ★★½

Didn’t want to go too deep on this in fear of accidentally emulating a scathing Pauline Kael review (one of the more entertaining references of the entire film, as it happens), but truthfully, Kaufman’s supposedly final directorial effort left me cold by the time it left Toni Collette and David Thewlis at the farmhouse. There’s more than enough intellectualised anxiety to chew on, the dinner table scene being a key example of Kaufman’s ear for angst, but I couldn’t help but feel it was striving to be smarter than it actually is. I haven’t read the source material, which might’ve added a sense of much needed nostalgia to certain elements, but for the most part, it just seemed like a bunch of regurgitated Freud or Jung quotes, mulled over by two relatively uninteresting people trapped in a 21st century Twilight Zone episode. Jessie Buckley made lemonade out of the fermented lemons she was dealt, that’s for certain, but I’ve heard these existential commentaries before from Kaufman, and they registered a whole lot better when they weren’t obscured by painfully labouring car journeys and endless blizzards of computer generated snow. Parody Zemeckis and you’ll have me laughing in the moment, but go on to parody yourself afterwards and you’ve lost what made the gag so great.

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