nick nightingale’s review published on Letterboxd:
The parallel buildup to the climax is aggressively rhythmless and is over reliant on some leaden sonic cues, but for the most part I quite liked this! Especially the big finale, which lands better than Hereditary’s in large part because this film doesn’t feel the need to didactically graft every bit of psychological drama onto a corresponding genre element.
Reynor’s delivery of “I’m open to collaborating” is aces.
I am left wondering, however, if Aster is just ignorant or if he thinks audiences are too dumb to know what a “dissertation” is. Or maybe he did a PhD in Europe.
This is a pretty good looking movie, but Aster’s quote about drawing inspiration from Black Narcissus remains laughable.
Addendum: since this is about a group of grad students, it’s worth adding that this movie is principally about the process by which affect is comprehended as emotion. Framing that as a horrific, tragic comedy of manners is a pretty neat insight on Aster’s part, but the execution isn’t always there... especially in regards to the central relationship, which is ostensibly the foundation of the whole film but often feels half baked (and for my money, the movie often seems more interested in the dynamics between Christian-Josh-Mark and Dani-Pelle than the disintegration of Dani and Christian’s relationship).