This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
River’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
One star for Sufjan. Otherwise can't stomach this film. Visually this film is gorgeous (it can’t not be pretty in that region of Italy anyway), but that is honestly about it. The editing is frankly horrible and the audio was really off to me. Neither of the main characters are likeable, at least to me, they are way too smug, pretentious and self-involved. There is just no substance in the plot, it is tedious and maudlin. An unimpressive bourgeois summer affair between a man and a teen in the world of Italian villas and white privilege... but I was told this is good filmmaking with groundbreaking message. The lead actors were unremarkable, especially Armand. Michael Stuhlbarg was solid, though.
Let's just get straight to the point: the premise of the story is a fucked up situation that should not be normalised and given implications that it's okay in anyway. A grown up man in his mid-20s and a 17 year-old high schooler are in complete different wavelengths, both materially and mentally. I don't care if it's legal, the power imbalance is inherent in the relationship, it's predatory and the older one would usually eventually fuck off which literally happened in the film. Like, we need to stop normalising power dynamics like this because in reality so many people are emotionally traumatised by similar experience and it's just not romantically tragic, it's messed up. No stories exists in a vacuum, if something is not okay in real world, it shouldn't be portrayed as a love story in fiction.
This is not the representation we deserve.
EDIT: This movie is rated higher than MOONLIGHT? Fucking hell.