But it is the film’s eerie sound design that is most impressive. Staub uses it as a weapon, keeping both the characters and the audience constantly discombobulated, and it is frequently impossible to know what each little creak in the floorboards, whistle of wind or crack of lightning signifies let alone where they might be coming from.
Hostiles isn’t an easy sit, the end resolution a cultural demolition that, no matter how pure the intentions of the survivors might be, could prove to be even more heinous than the violence they, their compatriots and those standing against them all faced in a cold, lonely wilderness where every step could be someone’s last.
But even if Gillespie and Rogers don’t go for the jugular, I still enjoyed much of what their truth is stranger than fiction real crime enterprise had to offer, and while I, Tonya doesn’t land a triple axel, it’s safe to say it doesn’t go splat face-first into the ice, either.
Insidious: The Last Key isn’t the worst but it also clearly isn’t the best, either. It just sort of rests tenuously in some sort of bland, easily digestible horror middle ground, and as such there’s little reason to hate the film even if I can’t exactly sing its praises.
Add in the obvious parallels to our current fight to keep a free, unfettered press that’s under assault by a corrupt political machine unlike any the First Amendment has ever faced before, the importance of the messages at the heart of The Post couldn’t be more imperative. Spielberg’s latest might not be his best, but it may be his most essential, those from all corners of the ideological spectrum urged to watch it with an open mind and a clear heart at their earliest opportunity.
Featuring a performance from Williams that is as beautifully nuanced and overflowing in naturalistic intensity as any she’s previously given, Scott’s All the Money in the World is an absorbing procedural that is marinated in uncomfortably authentic tension, events building to an explosive conclusion that left me happily gobsmacked.
If Molly’s Game doesn’t quite have what would typically be considered a winning hand, it bluffs just well enough to still take the pot, proving that a pleasant smirk and a little underhanded double-dealing isn’t always as terrible a thing as it should be. Heck, sometimes it might even be construed as charming.
Downsizing’s many issues outweigh its attributes so significantly I can’t help but feel like this will go down as one of the year’s most frustrating disappointments, and for a director as undeniably talented as Payne there’s nothing small about just how upsetting I find making a statement like that one to be.
But the real problem is that, other than a few random moments here and there, Father Figures just isn’t funny.