What a massive cope. Charlie Kaufman actually believes that he's so much smarter than everybody else, so much better than everybody else, so much more talented than everybody else. You're really not Charlie, you're just a neurotic loser with a shit-ton of insecurities and a nihilist worldview, and no amount of pseudo-intellectual vomit like I'm Thinking of Ending Things will cover up who you truly are. "I was very interested in Woody Allen growing up," Kaufman says. Of course he…
Based on its lofty 4.4 average user rating, it appears that Portrait of a Lady on Fire now sits in the position of a sacred cow. Is the hype warranted? Not in the slightest. From top to bottom, Portrait comes off as cinema at its most pandering, featuring every trope and cliché that "trendy" cinephiles have come to expect with their NEON/A24-produced "Indies": everything from self-conscious formalism to forced representation, from stilted pacing to predictable plotting. What a lifeless chore—hope it enjoys its Criterion sticker.
Completely pointless. Aster is a provocateur—and not a particularly talented one either—whose directing schema has not changed whatsoever since The Strange Thing About the Johnsons and Munchausen, two wretched shorts, equal parts juvenile and grotesque, both playing into the same old schtick—to take something traditional, such as a familial relationship, and pervert it—for no other reason than to shock. Empty provocations, and nothing else.
One could give Aster a bit of leeway if he at least had something (hell, anything!)…