Writer. Cinefile. Laura Dern enthusiast.
'The story you are about to see is true... as far as I know.'
This film is a true rarity. Brave, risky, heartbreaking, gripping, tragic. It blends documentary, fiction, reality, memory, and human emotion so expertly that the final result is a masterpiece of cinematic memoir. The way it allows itself to play with its own reality, to effect and change its own truth is bold and outstanding. It is a film like no other.
Dern is, as always, perfect.
Over the past 20 years or so, people seem to think that the magic of Linklater’s Before trilogy comes from its simple premise: two people just talking over a few hours. It’s this misunderstanding, that these kinds of movies are easy, that leads to the many, many, many ‘homages’ that are never able to capture the magic of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy - who were deeply involved creatively. There have been some decent additions to the ‘slow and talky’ genre (Columbus by Kogonada, for example) but for the most part, they almost always fall a little flat.
I mean, it's very well shot but that's about it. The sex feels inauthentic, the story frustrating, and the 'tragic' gay white man at its centre, far too familiar. Overall, it's poorly thought out and under-baked.
It's an example of queer filmmaking, not made by a queer person, that doesn't understand the narrative its adding to. You know, that gay men are sad, tragic, and they hate themselves. It'll make straight people feel better for acknowledging how hard it is…