Midsommar ★★★★★

There is nothing more satisfying, rewarding or exhilarating than being in the hands of filmmaker with complete mastery of the medium. That speechlessness that comes after the film ends and you find yourself floating out into the lobby, trying to process the experience (even if it's completely horrifying) and the real world itself flooding back in. Today, it seems this kind of alchemical reaction is practically extinct. But in the bitter cinematic winter of 2019, the Sommar has broken through, baby.

I don't really know how someone can make a movie seeping with this much craft at any point in their life, let alone coming immediately off one of the hottest horror achievements in recent memory. It seems like Aster has been waiting in the wings for a while for his opportunity and, now that he's been unleashed, there's no stopping him. His ability to navigate seamlessly between dread, grief, shock and utter hilarity is genuinely inspiring. And if half the job of a director is casting, did he ever strike gold. Every role is played with such specificity it provokes an equally specific and intended reaction.

You laugh at the assholes.

You suffer with Dani.

And on that note, I could go on about what a complete powerhouse Florence Pugh is; her walking of the line between vulnerability and agency is perpetually heart-wrenching. I'll just leave it by saying that it's been some time since I went to a theater and an actress' performance left me so entirely hollowed out.

Midsommar wasn't necessarily a pleasant trip but it achieved the difficult cinematic task of being a trip at all. I'm still coming down from it and probably will be for sometime.

(**All that being said: What the fuck, Ari.**)

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