The Duke of Burgundy

The Duke of Burgundy ★★★★½

No, no, you've done it all wrong, movie. You were supposed to be a chilly, abstract aesthetic exercise masquerading as high-class smut, or vice versa. Not a warm, refreshingly honest, frequently hilarious, deeply human story about true love and the communication and compromise necessary to make that love last.

I mean honestly, how difficult can it be to not construct a lovingly detailed, visually and aurally lush fantasy world whose very specificity and surreality paradoxically highlight how emotionally grounded and relatable your central relationship is? Ugh, look, you even left an exquisite homage to Stan Brakhage right there in the middle. What were you thinking?

You've been a very bad film, and you need to be punished.