The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★★★★

🏆96%
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Some films fade over time, and some stay stagnant, but certain movies grow like a parasite. While I’ve (clearly) had nothing but praise for this film over the months, something about this previous viewing pushed it over-the-top. The Lighthouse has not only made its way up my 2019 list, but it has been stuck in my brain for a few weeks now. It’s definitely just that foghorn sound effect playing over and over again (just kidding). While that’s true to some degree, it’s actually the dialogue. Willem Dafoe’s delivery may be some of the best I’ve ever seen. If you look at what his dialect had to portray here, and what he had to convey as an actor, it’s an absolute travesty that he didn’t get nominated. How in the world did he not get nominated? I am just baffled. There is an argument made that he should have won. Pitt was great, but Dafoe is just on another level here (in my opinion). We can’t forget about Pattinson. The range this man has to have, just to pull this level of madness, is insane. Their chemistry is top-notch, as they spend the majority of the film arguing with each other, but you understand that it’s all meaningful.

Every scene plants a seed for the film to grow from, and every character-moment serves relevance for the end of our tale. The memorable moments are there for sure, as Dafoe begs Pattinson not to forget how much he loves his lobster, but the quiet scenes are also just as impactful. A slow decent into madness is something not everyone is going to be ready for. The end, and the third act in general, will shock cinefiles and “general audience-members” alike. The grotesque imagery used throughout goes back to Eggers’ love for Horror. This film is technically included within the Horror genre, but I would classify it much more-so as a Fantasy-Drama. Every element takes you on a journey, but it’s a journey that some will not want to go on. I know some that say the aspect-ratio, the use of black and white, and plot itself is all “too much.” It definitely feels distinct from any other film recently, but that’s what allows it to stand out from the crowd. Certain scenes do drag, and not every answer is clear, but this is a film that continues to work better upon every viewing. The perfection on the technical side make up for most of the pacing issues. The Lighthouse is an achievement.

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