Opens unpromisingly despite Ethan Hawke… actors laboriously declaiming portentous dialogue in fake accents. It does start to get trippy, with more CG than expected (incl. cartoon-ass animals), and at the “years later” jump the tedious-to-thrilling ratio is 50/50. Subwoofer cinema, a sonically unpleasant movie – I should’ve played the Harriet Tubman album again. Alexander Skarsgård (Florence Pugh’s fake bf in Little Drummer Girl) swears revenge, loses his way, meets Björk, swears revenge again, kills Fjölnir’s son and refuses to say where he’s hidden the heart. Lotta people get chopped up with swords. Three good performances in this: Björk > Skarsgård > Dafoe
Willow Maclay argues there are four good performances:
Nicole Kidman also gives one of her best performances in some time as an incestual madwoman, driven berserk by the times, and dripping with salacious fury in her scene of revelation. This contrasts with her elegant work as a Queen and mother, and suggests that a proper feminine presentation can be hiding a cannibalistic fury behind doors.
Virtually every landscape is CGI’ed to the point of absurdity. The Northman strives for the painterly but more closely resembles those 4K test images they show on the TVs at Costco.
Watching The Shallows, I was delighted that Blake Lively and the movie allow their injured seagull to survive to the end, but now I realize this avian assistance was the key to Blake’s survival, because Rob Pattinson’s luck turns bad when he cruelly murders an injured gull, and after a descent into pain and horror and madness, he ends up gull food. Let these sister films be warnings to any who would wish harm to our seagull friends.
Eggers sounds like a delightful interview subject:
My understanding is that they were rescue birds that were injured and rehabilitated, and after that rehabilitation couldn’t really survive back in the wild again. So giving them things to do makes them happy. So they were very eager to learn how to fly on a windowsill, peck a windowpane three times, and jump off, and then get a little food reward. Actually the seagulls were incredibly easy to work with, unlike a certain black goat that, I mean, I have no fond memories of working with.
Set in 1890ish Maine, Rob Pattinson is on the run under another man’s name, spilling his beans to crusty old Willem Dafoe, as the two of them tend a lighthouse for a season. Unclear how much time passes, or what is real vs. hallucinated, but it’s all very beautifully shot, and if this Eggers makes another dark film about witches or lighthouses I will go see it.
Maybe the darkest movie I’ve ever seen – by which I mean a lack of light, even in the outdoor scenes, to the point where I sometimes could not tell what was happening. Wondered if the projectionist screwed up, but the trailer seems pretty damned dark on my laptop too, so maybe it’s just one dark-ass film.
Settlers with proper settler-names like Mercy and Caleb, exiled from the main town are torn apart by either evil forces or their crazed, fanatical imaginings of evil forces… but let’s say it’s the former. A goat named Black Phillip and at least one woods-dwelling witch get involved. Our protagonist is eldest child Thomasin, whose dad is a deep-voiced beardo and mom is Kate Dickie of Red Road. There’s a brother and a baby and some mischievous twins – more characters for witches and spirits to pervert and murder.
Bookmarked an article called “The Witch is a radicalization narrative,” which I don’t think I’ll read after all. In summary, I don’t know where this Mr. Eggers came from, but I assume he’s the younger brother from “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” and if he makes another dark film-video about witches I will go see it.