Appearances can be... deceptive.
Theme: He makes me laugh
In more ways than one, this felt like the first major work of cinema since The Act of Killing to be in dialogue with that film's ideas about evil as this uncanny, dissociative relationship, the tension between 'two films' happening at once (in Zone's case, the onscreen story of precisely constructed domestic routine, and the ever invasive soundscape of the Auschwitz camps), and how the actual making of the movie both informs and becomes part of the text.
Genuinely visionary stuff. Bonello takes his central preoccupations, formal ideas and influences as a filmmaker and synthesises them in a fatalistic parable that is all at once existentially terrifying, achingly romantic and disarmingly funny.
And for my money, there’s few recent films I can think of that evokes what it feels like to live in our present time quite as effectively as this one does.
Funny Gosling is back, and it’s beautiful.
As for the rest of the film, I honestly enjoyed myself a real good deal for the first half but then it unfortunately fizzled out, falling into a repetitive pattern of reinstating the ideas on its mind without much variety, save for what I found a pretty great musical sequence.
You can still trace the line from Lady Bird and Little Women to this, but its exploration of similar territory was never as effective or engaging to me.