Everything Everywhere all at once
Face it the multiverse is becoming a thing and no film has ever created multiple realities quite like this one. A three-parter filled with all the ridiculousness, this delivers two hours twenty minutes of characters doing strange things to travel between alternate versions of themselves.
Evelyn Quan finds herself constantly busy, trying to manage her family’s drycleaning business, not finding the time to think about her life and the people in it, mainly her quiet and reserved husband Waymond and daughter Joy. When she gets the power to travel between alternate versions of herself to stop an evil being from taking over the multiverse and everyone in it, she learns what has been missing in her life all along.
Directed by “The Daniels”(Daniel Kwan and Scheinert) who describe their film as a loud and fun blockbuster infused with the sincerity and heart of your favourite indie film. Cinematic language helps the audience navigate each universe, each with a unique colour palette, musical score and lens choice whilst referencing the directors’ favourite film styles. National geographic type media, odes to 90s cinema reminiscent of Magnolia and Todd Hayne’s moments similar to Carol are used to jump between genres.I have never seen a film so well depict the ins and outs of a mother-daughter relationship, bringing a level of emotional complexity through its witty dialogue. It will get you on the phone with your mum after watching it. It takes you on a spectacular journey through a myriad of realities conveying depth through the written word and spoken dialogue. Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis had so many different versions of themselves to bring to the screen yet acted each new version with ease adding realism to the most unique of the realities. Interesting, well-acted and more about personal growth and the journey taken to reach it rather than how it works out in the end, Everything Everywhere is heartfelt and fun in the best way.
If you are all too familiar with the work of Julia Doucournau and have watched Servant and or Titane, you can probably imagine what Raw has in store. I was a bit squeamish at the synopsis about a young vegetarian that starts eating raw meat amid her veterinary school experience, leaving me with the expectation of graphic, gore-like effects. Apart from graphic depictions of hair chewing and itching, I was sorely mistaken. Justine starts at a prestigious vet school that her entire family have also attended. Unable to fit in she relaxes her vegetarianism and starts eating raw meat with dangerous consequences. This film was a brilliant depiction of a young woman plunged into the stressful hazing rituals at the vet school she attends, taking a toll on her wellbeing. Justine’s discomfort, anxiety and transformation is felt. Small changes quickly escalate, sometimes without us even realising it. Doucournau wanted to make a film where the cannibal is the main character feeling it is something people reject in others despite being part of the three taboos in human nature based on the ideas of J Odenbaugh. She wanted to display a body metamorphosis and transformation with some moral consequences, building empathy for Justine’s character through the context of hazing.
The Do provide eclectic score “Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy”, creating an ambient student party setting. It reminds me of the car scene from Titane where a catchy piece of music adds to the atmosphere of the film drawing the viewer into the scene. Gripping performances from Garance Marillier as shy Justine and her seemingly sure of herself sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) bring this insightful story to life. A good watch even if you are on the squeamish side, Raw chooses to be smart , depicting the emotional perils of college life.
The Lost City
Wow, finally a new romantic comedy, with Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Brad Pitt. What could go wrong? Well, everything it seems. The seemingly straightforward plot places romance novelist Loretta Sage and her cover model Dash on a remote island after she is kidnapped by Abigail Fairfax, who is on the hunt for lost treasure.
Dash enlists the help of Jack Trainer ( Brad Pitt) bringing the most interesting character to the screen complete with witty one-liners and multiple backflips. Although this film sports clever dialogue ,its two-dimensional characters, especially the leads who have no chemistry contribute to low levels of believability. A lot of scenes drag on and are particularly uninteresting, the point that Dash is more than just a pretty face explored haphazardly, an afterthought with insufficient development to make anyone care. Grief is portrayed authentically with an emotionally captivating performance from Sandra Bullock. Directed by Aaron and Adam Nee( The last Romantic, Band of Robbers) who wanted to create an action, comedy and romance film all in one where all three elements support each other to create super fun high stakes action scenes.
The beauty of the filming location in the Dominican Republic is not enough to detract from actors that are usually amazing in everything they do attempting to work with on the nose material. Daniel Radcliffe wowed in Guns Akimbo yet did not have much to work with as Abigail Fairfax. Bringing in all the gimmicky special effects and quad bike chases, yet lacking any substance, I was relieved when the final credits rolled. Points to Sandra Bullock for filming in a sparkly jumpsuit in the jungle and enduring two months of painful feet after filming.
Personally, I would not recommend going on this treasure hunt.
I watched this very early June but couldn’t wait to talk about it so here goes. The one time I walk into a film, not quite believing what I had seen after it. But I did see it and it was a spectacular portrayal of how trapped women can feel by men. Healing after her husband’s death Harper books a remote house in the countryside to get away from it all. She tries to enjoy her surroundings which involves sending strange echoes into a creepy tunnel. However the men in the town who all are the same man(Rory Kinnear) have plans to make her stay far from relaxing.
An eerily creepy A24 film directed by Alex Garland(Ex Machina, Annihilation) which introduces some ‘characters’ including an obnoxious youth wearing a Marylin Monroe mask, this countryside escape has no escape. Garland was influenced by watching Attack on Titan with his daughter and its strange depiction of human forms that lean towards the ridiculous making them terrifying and strange( I will let you guess which scene )Harper’s experience is felt throughout, including her discomfort and inability to escape during her time at the country mansion.Jesse Buckley’s effortless portrayal of Harper’s grief and Rory Kinnear’s embodiment of multiple characters elevate the film’s message. Attention is drawn to men in trustworthy positions who exhibit the worst behaviour particularly evident in Harper’s interaction with the Priest and Police Officer.I felt the intended discomfort and experienced the relationship in the film through Harper’s eyes. A fantastic, thought provoking watch which created believable characters whilst providing interesting commentary on types of masculinity.
A pandemic film directed by Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brokovich) places focus on voice assistants like Alexa and their ability to help solve crimes. Tech worker Angela(Zoe Kravitz) who works from home amid the Covid pandemic discovers some evidence of a crime when working with recordings from voice assistant ‘Kimi ‘ in her role at the Amygdala Corporation. Trying to report the crime, she faces a lot of resistance which soon becomes a fight to get the truth out. Soderbergh was inspired by films dealing with characters in contained spaces such as Rosemary’s Baby and Kimi was pitched pre-Covid but facing the reality of Covid ended up adding more depth to the original idea.
The film delves into Angela’s struggle with agoraphobia and idea that she is comfortable in the lockdown setting where she doesn’t have to encounter open spaces.The eerie, spacey scores from Cliff Martinez were excellent for building tension and adding a tone of mystery. While the subject matter was interesting, some parts dragged on and lost my attention .
While I would recommend for the characters and relationships created, a few scenes acting as fillers did little to drive the plot.