You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Was a 72, now an 86

Thoughts after a cathartic second pass:

- Joe taking the stairs when he's in control and then, perhaps unconsciously, deciding on the elevator when the whole situation is fucked is such an acute observational detail, and one of many for this movie.

- Another: the sound-effect of the gas pump being synced to Joe's ticking watch. Each moment and element is finely-tuned - a mechanism subversion of a genre frequently left to sort through viscera and pain.

- The psychic connection between Joe and Nina is quite startling, and it reinforces how Joe's self-loathing is predetermined by the trauma the people around him feel, and how he soaks it in. That Joe starts counting, like Nina does, is an exemplification of wanting to take everything away from her. Those dreaded seconds of being lost, as the reality is too horrible to bear.

- This is easily Jonny Greenwood's finest effort, and that's no small feat.

- Joe is uniquely empathetic and monstrous, mostly to accentuate the point of being flawed and beautiful. We're all alive, some people just don't know what to do with what they've done, and they don't know how to leave - a fear of fading like a bad memory, forgotten forever. But Joe isn't entirely self-consumed. The (breathtaking) scene where Joe discovers the Governor's body and believes, for a small duration, that Nina could be gone forever is all in service of Joe not knowing where to place himself when he isn't helping others or releasing his demons through violence. She saved him, but he couldn't save her.