Red Rocket

Red Rocket ★★★★½

sleazy and repulsive, by way of a living-curse’s physicalized, exploitative-demeanor-gone-humorous, where Sean Baker’s Simon Rex is a sweaty, bottom-feeding, deceptive, rambling hunk of charisma—overzealously opportunistic, and aggressively against the grain of the depicted Texas City small-town suburbia. Red Rocket features the exceptional grime-lighting that gave Tangerine its sweet, dirty, and honest aura, and here, being transported to another location and narrative, it works just as well, painting an individualistic, narcissistic (donut) hole-in-the-wall America to wildly entertaining heights while trading the sprawling “paradise” of Los Angeles for a more rustic backroads setting, all through a delicious 70s-type lens of fuzz and hilarity loaded with zooms and authenticity across the board. the depicted malleability and tactility therein of regular life for the presented characters bears immense integrity, and though the film’s central “idol” (of sorts) is reprehensible, it is just as undeniable—a breath of fresh, yet humid air to close out the calendar year. piles up and suffocates before that breath can be exhaled, and distorts right back to square one.

A24 Ranked
2021 Ranked

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