Good Time

Good Time ★★★½

The Safdies didn't obscure Pattinson's charisma, they weaponized it. The guerilla-style immediacy of Heaven Knows What charged with neon-tinged pulp, a vicarious thrill derived from plugging directly into nightmarish street-level desperation and paranoia - it's a hustle, but an especially good one. It's attuned throughout to how Connie's whiteness is his recourse in tight spots and how he uses blackness and black people as a means to an end, callously discarding them when they're no longer useful. I don't know if it goes so far as to comment on white privilege but it foregrounds it in the narrative (starting with those uncanny masks used in the heist). "Romance Apocalypse" will be a good title for the eventual Safdie Bros. retro. What separates them from any number of of young dudes emulating 1970s New American Cinema is that they aren't dutifully replicating a particular aesthetic so much as an approach to film, trying to tap into an energy that I think they come by honestly, that early Scorsese thing of mainlining movieness itself. They can't help but get high off it too - I think that's why they're drawn to stories about addicts and hustlers, and resistant to imbuing them with a larger significance.

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