Hot Take Nick’s review published on Letterboxd:
Had to wait til the weekend to see this so I guess I’m still a tad late to the hype train (but still not as late as I normally am).
Initially, this was a little bit too much of a slow burn for me but the performances and some nice shots kept me invested at the start. But damn the way all the stories came together. That was beautiful. The payoff was 100% worth the slow burn at the beginning.
I tried to avoid readings this about this as much as I could, but damn this was way more violent than I was expecting.
I always think it’s interesting when movies wait to introduce the top billed characters. Like Holland didn’t have screentime until 45 minutes in and Pattinson shortly after that. But the way the story unfolded was so great that this worked out really nicely.
And speaking of Pattinson, how on earth did he pull off that accent without a dialect coach? I honestly never would’ve recognized his voice at all if I was blindfolded. He sound dubbed honestly that’s how good it was.
I dug the use of a narrator in this too. And I thought it was cool that the narrator was the author of the book this is based on.
That scene in the church between Holland and Pattinson was so intense.
I always think it’s interesting when Vietnam serves as a backdrop in movies like this (though here I guess it was definitely further in the background). It’s such a controversial time in American history (though I wasn’t alive for it in real time) that I’m always intrigued by the way it’s depicted in film).
I didn’t recognize Sebastian Stan until I saw his name in the credits. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal was a producer for this apparently.
Cool to see the guy who played Neville Longbottom still in movies. Though I had to look away when he poured the spiders on himself. That was horrible.
At one point BoBo was complaining about not being able to figure out the scoops of coffee grind to water ratio in coffee makers. Which is a problem I somehow still have too.
Lastly but also randomly, Bill Skarsgard stars alongside Andre Holland and Melanie Lynskey in season 1 of a horror tv series called Castle Rock based on a Stephen King book. And I thought season 1 was phenomenal. Slow burn too like this but by the end of the season I couldn’t stop watching (season 2 has a different cast & isn’t nearly as good).
Overall, this movie gets off to a slow start (a hint too slow for me) but the performances and the writing are so excellent that it’s definitely worth the payoff in the final act. I was glued to the screen by that point.
2020 Releases, Ranked
#5 for the year!