Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ari Aster is one of the more interesting directors working today and he has proven himself (again) with Midsommar. Of course Hereditary is incredible but it’s hard to judge a director after only one project. Just like Jordan Peele, Aster returns with a vengeance and delivers on everything that worked in the first outing. This is actually a step up in quality and shot selection. In terms of script and the impact; I still prefer Hereditary but Midsommar carries the exact same vibe that it had. It slowly creeps up on you for an hour and then hits you like a ton of bricks during the final act of the film. The cast is where it begins and it is truly one of the best of the year so far.
Pugh is not just outstanding; but she is the best performance I have seen in 2019 so far. Her emotional range is ridiculous and just like Toni Collette last year; I sense another nomination snub. Her chemistry with Reynor is the best and Reynor, being one of my favorite small-time actors, proves his worth in this movie as well. Everyone works and there wasn’t one character/storyline that felt meaningless. I may have wanted some more from the finales to each of those storylines; but it’s also just that feeling of wanting a bit more. It also has way more humor than anticipated and that adds an entirely new dimension to the film. Will this film answer all of your questions? Absolutely not, but the level of detail here is rather important.
It requires a rewatch because of what is happening in the background, rather than the foreground. Another reason (why) is because there are certain things foreshadowed by the director early on; and the story is almost laid out for us, right underneath our noses. Once again, I didn’t manage to catch every element of detail but you will see what I mean once you watch the film. The divisive ending, like Hereditary’s, will cause general audience members to walk out shaking their heads. The Cinemascore will be low and those who wanted a “jump-scare fest” are going to be massively disappointed. I would much rather watch an artistic film like this, that takes chances, than another studio snooze fest. Even if this fell flat for you, at least it wasn’t boring.
Sometimes, these kinds of films don’t payoff in the long run, but Midsommar did just enough to keep me on edge the entire time. You mix a violent, shocking and wacky plot with the incredible cinematography, acting and color correction; you get something special. The first 20 minutes enthralled me just because of how the camera was moving. The score also added so much and the fact that they knew when to pull it back is another sign of brilliance. This film holds one of the most insane scenes I have seen all year, it will unnerve you and it will make you want to walk out. But I see Midsommar as another win for Aster and in the midst of the studio remakes/sequels; it swooped in and almost stole the entire summer.
🔙Under the Silver Lake♻️