7/10 There is a certain amount of irony about a film made right before a pandemic that revolves around a pandemic and is just now being released due to shutdown theaters caused by…you guessed it…the pandemic. While the pandemic in this fictional film is nothing like ours, seeing our male lead protagonist wearing a mask and chaos on the streets does invoke some strong emotions that correlate to today’s problems. Whether the film is relevant or not with what is happening in real life (since when this film is viewed far into the future, times will be very different and hopefully pandemic free), “Little Fish” is still a good movie, regardless. Based off of a short story by Aja Gabel, this film is about seemingly random people in society losing their memory. Much like dementia or Alzheimers, people of all ages begin forgetting more and more as time goes by. For some people they rapidly deteriorate and others have a much slower, more gradual cognitive decline. This film tackles the love story of one young married couple as this disease eats away at their relationship. The couple is played by Olivia Cooke (Emma) and Jack O’Connell (Jude), who are both excellent in the film. Cooke in particular, coming off of the incredible “Sound of Metal” is on an incredible hot streak at the moment and choosing great films to be a part of. As Jude begins losing his memory, Emma is his anchor to reality in their struggle against his debilitating disease. The film doesn’t lean heavy into any political messaging (thankfully) but there are a couple of moments that relate to some of today’s politics. For example, Jude and Emma come to a check point while driving and they have to show identification so the government can make sure they aren’t in a missing persons database. With some crazy people calling for vaccination passports/green cards to allow you to travel, these scary and insane ideas unfortunately aren’t far from reality and the film foreshadowing little things like that comes from the strong script by Mattson Tomlin. Director Chad Hartigan makes some wise visual decisions with how he portrays the memory loss and foggy recollections of his characters. There were some moments that began to drag a little bit in terms of the pacing but Hartigan and Tomlin have an incredible final scene that ties everything together, takes the film up a notch and makes you want to immediately rewatch the film knowing what you know now. Despite some pacing issues and a slightly weaker second act, the opening/closing brilliance paired with some strong visuals and heartfelt performances make this a relevant and timely film worth seeking out.

#EmmaAndCanineAndTheMemoryDecline / #TrialByIre / #StrollDownMemorysPain / #HeyJudeRememberToLetHerUnderYourSkin / #DontYouForgetAboutMe / #LittleGoldfish

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