DeniseeMariee’s review published on Letterboxd:
As a person who has used pop culture as a means of escapism for a long as she can remember, this movie struck an odd chord in me.
It is thoroughly engrossing for most of its runtime. There’s a great deal of exposition that drags on and the ending is WAY too long, but the contest itself—pure cinematic escapism. This movie is a simultaneous ode to the stories of our childhood and a reminder that they are, indeed, just stories.
“Reality is the only thing that’s real”
What a painful wake up call from a movie that just spent 2 hours showing you how fun it is to live in a world made up of fictional characters.
It’s a painful and poignant wake up call, all because of Mark Rylance. He makes every single one of the references to the movies, TV shows and video games we all love, count. He injects so much love and sadness into this movie and it makes it seem as if it’s all worth it.
Its execution is messy and the dialogue is border-line outrageous (I suspect due to the source material) but you cannot deny Spielberg’s heart shining through. Much like Rylance’s performance, this movie would fall apart completely without a nerd like Spielberg steering it back on course.
Sure, it’s corny. And the words “fan boy” and “hater” are used in the same sentence at one point. But there’s a purpose to it all. It’s not referential only for the sake of entertainment. The message behind it is something i didn’t expect from a blockbuster. It’s oddly meta and surprisingly emotional.
I wish I could Mark Rylance every Oscar and then hug him every day for the rest of my life.
And that The Shining sequence? I loved every single second of it.