Movie Reviews

Paterson – Movie Review – Four out of Four Stars

Paterson – Movie Review – Four out of Four stars

This movie is a true indie classic in the making. It is subtle, sincere, beautiful, tender, honest, overwhelmingly artistic and sensitive to the love in us all. The movie presents its world as the day to day life of a young couple, their friends, their coworkers; all of their ambitions and aims. The plot line and arc are beautifully masked by the straight-forward and unartistic presentation of the moments in their lives, it looks like life is simply unfolding.  It seems like nothing is happening, there is no formula. We are shown all the mundane, all the silly, all the seemingly pointless events in life but it all adds up to something very special.

We start to see what the characters love, what they truly love in life and this becomes the crux of the tragedy in the movie. Each character has an ambition, something they are working towards, something small and humble, but a small sadness is in all of them. A small desperation is at the root of all of them, but a love as well, a passion and focus.   And then the tragic climax hits, so seemingly small in magnitude compared to the tragedies of other dramas but because of how real the characters have become, how much we feel like we know them and care about them, it becomes utterly heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking out of this love we feel, not out of any sort of pity, fear or resentment. We just want the best for these characters and the main character especially. We see and know how much his work means to him, all this love,  and to see the tragedy hit… it’s overwhelmingly painful.

Nothing is ever melodramatic in this movie and that lack of melodrama drags us infinitely closer into these character’s lives. Other movies we see from pluto, this one we watch from inside their hearts.  These characters become real, flesh and blood, they feel real. By the end of the movie we are still left somewhat in mourning. Of course life goes on, but we are not given black and white options for how to move forward.  We are given pain and love at the same time. We are given sorrow and strength at the same time.

The movie is tender, beautiful, subtle and honest with characters who have zero self-consciousness in them. It feels like life, all the awkward, all the beauty, all the heartbreak, all the charge to grow.

Get Out – Movie Review

Get Out is a movie about obsession. It is an obsession with “the other” and particularly white obsession with the black experience. Peele’s thesis is that white people secretly want to be black, or want to at least try it and this premise plays out in a fascinating way. It’s a brilliant insight into the vague nature of racism.

We’re presented with an interracial couple of about five months who are on a road trip home so that the black boyfriend can meet the parents of the white girlfriend. It kind of plays out the way one would expect. The boyfriend is met with racism during the roadtrip home, over eager parents trying to prove that race isn’t at all an issue to them, and friends of the family attempting to make polite conversation but coming off as ignorant.  The girlfriend is perennially supportive and we see them as two heroes against an oblivious, unenlightened world.

Next is a series of events where we, as viewers, get an intriguing look at an instinct gone awry.  Whether it’s bias, resentment or obsession, there is an inescapable desire to transcend oneself and live as what one fears. Whether it is to understand it or to destroy it, or make love to it. It’s the obsession, the focal point that makes one insane and desire escape into dominance. It is a desire to make submissive, to own, to objectify.  We meet people in this film who have been put face to face with their own demise, their own slavery. Or we see oppressors fighting to save their own at whatever cost, even if it means enslaving another human to do so.

The acting from beginning to end is utterly stunning. It is perfectly cast with performances which are disturbing to the core and frighteningly real.

The movie is incredible and Peele’s movie is virtuosic.  I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Everybody Wants Some!! – Movie Review

 

“It’s about timelessness; the timelessness of fun and youth and simply, the beauty of the moment.”  

Everybody Wants Some!! – Richard Linklater – Review

I thought this movie was fantastic.  It’s a true Linklater film through and through. The storytelling is done organically, blending prodigious dialogue, charismatic acting, diversity of characters, beautifully shot scenes and a deeply fun sentiment towards the topic of the movie.

Each character feels immediately unique and individual and the interactions are a firestorm of real life clashes of personalities.  No one really “fits in”, no one is docile, they are all inescapably themselves and it’s so much fun to watch.

The lack of political or moral bias is appreciated. Linklater imposes no agenda from our time, nor does he try to point out any flaws particular to the era.  It’s about timelessness; the timelessness of fun and youth and simply, the beauty of the moment.

The dialogue is rich with character.  We get everything from the philosophical to the simple, the awkward to the mendacious, flirtation and lust.  It’s deeply charismatic and devoid of nihilistic cynicism.

The actors are all charming.  It was well cast from lead to character role, a giant ensemble cast.  Each character sparkled in the texture, making it richer and more durable.  I missed so many nuances on the first watch because the film is so dense with these highly individual characters.  Every performer was outstanding at their job and the interaction they brought on film was truly stunning. It was so natural, so organic, so fun, so exciting, so visceral. It’s rare to see a movie play out that way and am hard pressed to find the style so well used from any other director.

The love story at the end also pulled no punches in a unique way. It betrayed an incredible mindset. It was a crystal clear philosophical statement about passion. It makes no romantic intensification or glorification of it.  They simply speak of the burden of passion, how it is synonymous with the Sisyphus parable.  It does not edify, it simply stands on its own two feet.

The movie is a masterpiece and I can’t wait to rewatch it!!  I give it 5/5 stars, unquestionably.