6/10 I’ve talked about in past reviews this year how A24 has a great track record with the films they distribute. Knowing that this film came from A24, is written and directed by the man who wrote Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and starring one of today’s most underrated actors, Ethan Hawke, I was extremely excited for this film. As the film begins, I loved almost everything about it. The director takes his time with the camera by letting shots linger and not having to rush with quick cut editing. This really builds the mood and establishes the tone. The direction and cinematography are expertly controlled as the slow burn story progresses. The film covers a wide variety of subject matter including but not limited to grief, healing, loss, environmental issues, faith, alcoholism, cancer, etc. One character believes that it isn’t morally right to bring children into a world that is overpopulated and where humans are doing irreversible damage to the planet. As someone who tends to agree with that and who cares deeply about the environment, this stood out to me. Pair that with Ethan Hawke’s character as he deals with his faith while struggling in just about every area of his life and I was hooked on the story and these characters immediately. I had no idea where the film was going to go, even though I had ideas that ended up being wrong. The trailers do a great job of not giving anything away and I liked not knowing a lot going in. Due to the engaging story, memorable characters, disciplined direction, controlled editing and a score that wasn’t used much but when it was it was very subtle and extremely suiting to the film, I was ready to give this film a 9/10 score. That is until the last scene of the film. Without giving anything away I will just say that the ending completely tanks the film. It was if the writer/director didn’t know how to end the film so he just cuts it before there is any resolution or closure. We aren’t even sure if the final scene is real or a fantasy moment that isn’t actually happening. The ending tries to be arthouse but instead undermines the entire rest of the film and how brilliant it was leading up to the astonishingly disappointing ending. This is the worst ending on an otherwise great film that totally sinks the overall quality from a 9/10 to the 6/10 it now deserves. No amount of prayer will save this film’s ending so feel free to catch it outside of theaters but don’t set yourself up for a satisfying conclusion.
#ClericTheEntertainer / #ChurchOrganDonor / #ReformersRageOfExtinction / #AMillionWaysToDieInTheVest / #BeforeDemise / #WaningDay