The Farewell is one of the best films of 2019. Heck, it might even be one of the best of the entire decade.
“It’s all a cross-section of my brain. It’s like martial arts, comedy, drama, metal; everything that you want in a movie. It’s all personal experience stuff for me. It’s very, very, very loosely based on feelings and experiences and passions of mine. The fact that people have been responding to it the way that they have is somewhat surprising.”
– Riley Stearns
Anchored by a superb performance from comedian, author, podcaster and essayist Maron and featuring wonderful supporting works by all three of his primary costars, especially a delightfully anarchic Watkins, Sword of Trust is a fast-paced O. Henry meets Mark Twain meets Tom Wolfe-like absurdist lark that sent me out of the theatre smiling.
Wild Rose is a universally aspirational story of retaining one’s individuality in the face of societal roadblocks that prefer conformity and the status quo over anything unique, its songs of faith, family and friendship worth singling along with.
The last third of Yesterday is an ineffectual slog that wastes the talents of its stars, and as breezy, inoffensively enjoyable and as adorably light as so much of this was to suddenly hear it hit so many sour notes was undeniably disappointing, my emotions gently weeping the more I keep thinking about it.
But it’s all haphazardly thrown together and never coherently focused, Jarmusch allowing The Dead Don’t Die to have a disheveled lackadaisical momentum that’s too nondescript to resonate and too messily pieced together for events to emotionally matter.
Like the character she portrays rules her evening talk show, Thompson towers over this movie with a stunning magnificence that’s extraordinary, and when I watch Late Night again in the future I will do so entirely because of her.
“With kids, what’s the first language they speak? Well, that’s emotion…Even if they don’t understand the specifics of what is being talked about, if they see a character is upset or fearful or happy, they respond to that.”
What’s fascinating is just how many levels this ingenious bit of storytelling virtuosity works on. The youngest of minds will be mesmerized by the dazzling colors and the enchanting characters, while more seasoned viewers will be just as deeply engrossed by the complexity of the themes being examined.