Possessor

On an artistry level, Brandon Cronenberg's sophomore feature is pretty impeccable. Possessor has a brilliantly crafter rhythm that sucks you in and holds you by the throat for the entirety of its runtime, which feels much shorter than 105 minutes. The visual effects and narrative abstractions are unique and hugely successful. Co-leads Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott give equally stunning performances, and the supporting cast is filled out with some real pros. Does anyone pick cooler projects than Jennifer Jason Leigh?

Where the film falls flat - albeit not by much - is in its thematic explorations. There are more than a handful of things that the young Cronenberg brings to the forefront at various times as potential focuses of the movies thematic heft, but none of them get expanded upon much at all, and a large number of them are never touched on again. Now, I'm not asking the film to be less ambiguous in its plot or meaning, but it is very obvious, even in an ambiguous picture, when the director themself understands what the meaning is at the heart of their film. With Possessor, Cronenberg certainly had a number of ideas kicking around about what he wanted the film to be about, but none of them were more than rough sketches, and that comes through on screen.

It's a really phenomenally made movie though, and I'm excited to see how Cronenberg's career progresses. He's not doing something entirely new, but he undoubtedly has a strong, unique voice.

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