The Killing of a Sacred Deer, 2017

Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan

IMDb

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a tough watch, but I for one really liked it.

Much like Yorgos Lathimos’ most recent film ‘The Lobster’, the film takes place in a slight dystopia where everyone talks and acts in an emotionally muted and hyper-literal fashion. The rules of our society do not apply and it leaves you with a very unsettling feeling.

The setup for the setting pretty well encapsulates the films intended effect: extremely unsettling and non-conforming to the rules. The rules of standard hollywood story structure, that is.
It’s an extremely well made film, and Colin Farrell gave an excellent performance, but it’s not necessarily meant to be enjoyed by all. I liked it, but to you guys I say: go see it if you don’t mind being weirded the fuck out.

If you liked Mother! you may dig it. If you liked The Lobster, you’ll almost definitely dig it.

It’s very good, and it will keep me thinking for a long time. But then I’m a film nerd. I’m keen to hear what anyone who did see it thought.

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The Disaster Artist, 2017

Directed by: James Franco

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco

IMDb

The Disaster Artist was a pretty great film. I can’t recommend it (and the titular Disaster it tells the story of) highly enough.

If you’re not aware, The Room is heralded as one of the worst films ever made, and it has gained an ever-growing cult status in the years since its release. For my Sydney friends, The Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne (not sponsored, I swear) hosts a screening on the first Friday of every month and it’s a great laugh. The cult movie experience is more than worth the price of admission. One of the most striking things about The Room is its Director/Writer/Producer/Star Tommy Wiseau: a vampire-looking man of unknown origins and a notable lack of… any talent, and the way he presents himself is intriguingly strange. He’s a truly interesting and mysterious real-life figure.

James Franco absolutely knocked me out with his performance as Tommy. What a truly captivating character, and what a seamless performance/portrayal. I did not for a moment see James Franco, I saw Tommy. There were times that I totally forgot I was watching a performance and thought it was really the man himself. Truly legendary. One of the most convincing performances I’ve seen of any kind in years.

Everyone else was good too. Dave Franco played the other lead, Greg, very well and very sympathetically, despite being vastly upstaged by his brother. I particularly enjoyed the minor characters played by Josh Hutcherson and Seth Rogen. You really get the impression that tonnes of celebrities were pining super hard to be involved in this production, and their passion is felt very strongly. Everyone feels like they’re having a good time.
If I were to nitpick, I would say that it was actually kind of distracting having so many super-famous people in the movie, it kind of distracted from their characters a little. This isn’t a serious issue though.

The story is captivating in that it makes you immediately curious right from the get-go as to just how The Room came to be. It would probably be less interesting if it weren’t based on a true story, but fortunately for us it really happened and damn is it interesting. The story does get a little cheesy at points in ways that depart from the actual truth of the sequence of events, but I feel that these changes do ultimately benefit the film as a whole.

It’s a really funny movie as well. You will probably appreciate it more having seen The Room though, so if you haven’t I would recommend at least looking up a ‘best of’ list of moments on youtube or something.

Soundtrack, cinematography, editing and directing were all good, but not particularly notable. That’s ok though, this is a character driven movie and it succeeds to a spectacular degree at being that.

Hurry up and go see it. It’s awesome.