Attending the New York Film Festival this year has been exhausting, but an absolute joy. Here are my thoughts on some of the big ticket films that screened as part of the Main Slate–most of which I liked, some of which I loved, and a few of which I was underwhelmed and/or unimpressed by.
Inject everything about this into my veins.
Features undeniably some of the strongest film-making of the year, but did not do for me emotionally what it seems to have done for so many others.
At Eternity’s Gate
Ash Is Purest White
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
A very mixed bag, but beautifully shot. The last two vignettes do a lot to make up for what precedes.
Happy as Lazzaro
Artful and interesting, but too abstract for my taste.
Suffocating, bombastic and often very difficult to watch, but I liked it far more than I was expecting to, and as with “Buster Scruggs”, the last two sections (the penultimate in particular) redeem a lot of what comes before.
A little to out there for me to be able to fully embrace, but not as out there as it could have been, and what’s there really worked for me.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Beautiful, but the epitome of style over substance. Disappointing.
Quirky and enjoyable, but doesn’t get much of anywhere and goes out on a weak note.
The best film of the year. A complete sucker punch.
Exactly the kind of film I hope to be making someday. I loved this.
Doesn’t entirely work. The whole is far less than the sum of its parts, but some of those parts are absolutely incredible.