Sgt. Pepper / Johnny Kashmir’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is one of those films that is a bit difficult to digest in one watch. That's not to say the film broke me (that final shot came close though), but rather that I'm somewhat conflicted over it (though I certainly admire the craft and performances behind the film).
This means another round of hot takes. Sorry.
- Chalamet most definitely deserves his Best Actor nomination. I wasn't immediately convinced but by the time of the third act I bought the hype. The last shot sells the performance completely and it would be cool to see him take home the Oscar (though I'm not sure whether I'm rooting more for him or Day-Lewis).
- Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg both turn in solid work in both of their roles. It's a shame both were snubbed at the Oscars. The latter's much discussed monologue is a bit safe space-ish but Stuhlbarg's delivery allows the scene to stick the landing.
- The filmmakers intended to evoke a mixture of those early hours when summer arrives yet one fails to decide what to do as well as the latter half of the season's dog days, and they pull it off perhaps too well. I won't go as far as saying that the film was boring but I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't a bit restless for much of the film.
- That said, the film becomes quite potent on an emotional level in the final third, mitigating my reservations with the pacing around that point.
- The cinematography was inexplicably robbed of an Oscar nomination. The film is definitely one of the more gorgeous visual and sonic experiences of 2017, and I hope Sufjan Stevens wins the Oscar.
- That peach scene was gross.
In the end, I'd say this is a worthy Best Picture nominee, regardless my not quite getting into its wavelength as easily as most others did.
Verdict: Either a B or a B+