The Whale, 2022.
It would be difficult to find in American film history a movie that deals so directly with so many delicate questions of contemporary America, including obesity, religion, homophobia, family breakdown, and health care.
DON’T WORRY DARLING
Criticism for this film has been often severe, but some top critics disagree and see this film as quite revealing. The film may appear superficial at first glance, yet it does tackle several socially relevant themes. The conversation about this movie will last until the Oscar season, with good reason.
CRIMES OF THE FUTURE
Director David Cronenberg had predicted that part of the audience would leave the screening of his horror-drama-science fiction film in the first minutes of viewing it. Indeed, there is a lot to be uncomfortable with this “inside view” of the future transformation of the human body.
What does this melancholic film tell us? We can feel it is about something important. But what? Although the hero could achieve a sense of balance and harmony as a great chef earlier in his life, he can now only find these moments of grace as a hermit looking for truffles and mushrooms in the wild, with the help of his beloved pig. What does that tell us about our times?
Much as A beautiful day in the neighborhood took us back to a gentler media environment, MInari takes us back to a gentler rural America, where immigration was not a wedge issue, politically charged as it sometimes is today. Why this longing for what is, after all, a quite recent past? What has changed so much in the recent thirty or forty years?
This film of fiction, not too far away from being a documentary, takes a kind and affectionate look at what is not frequently portrayed in cinema: the houseless people living in their van in America. Is this a militant film, intending to give us a message about current socio-economic trends in America? Yes, in part. But it is at the same time broader and more specific than that.
The trials and tribulations of this Algerian family immigrating to Montréal speak to the challenges of integrating a new environment and society. But, just as in the Greek tragedy from which this film is inspired, Antigone, there are existential choices to be made along the way, and choosing between some of the alternatives is not a simple choice between good and evil. Which is why it is a tragedy.
SOUND OF METAL
Without a doubt, this film is exactly what The Movie Shrink has in mind when he is looking for significant films that require an interpretation, a deeper understanding. Beyond the individual story about a rock-heavy metal drummer experiencing a hearing loss, this is a film about sensory balance. Contrasting with the usual scenes of the film in run-down America, the story ends in Europe, in Brussels, in a comfortable and quite elegant neighborhood. Very intriguing, indeed.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Only a few decades ago, our media landscape was very different than our present one, which sometimes appears as full of partisanship, cruelty, and furor. This film gives us a measure of how far we have strayed from a gentler time.
THE VAST OF NIGHT
In a story reminiscent of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), this film about strange sounds emanating from an unusual audio frequency, heard in a small town of New Mexico, is deceptively simple. It could be better understood when combined with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019).
THE DEAD DON’T DIE
A horror movie can be quite significant, beyond its improbable events and systematic violence. This seems to be the case with this zombie movie.
THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT
When a construction project’s only goal is to save a few decimals of a second for stock market transactions, a lot of important elements are left behind and neglected. This film is about some of these elements we leave behind in our rush to save time.
Following the great critical and popular success of Get Out, any film by Jordan Peele would lead us to believe that it deals with black integration (or lack of it) in American society. But, in this film, that theme is less obvious, and the movie may concern all those that are forgotten, those that are underground, white or black.