Matisse van Rossum’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Spring Break. Spring Break forever."
Even though this film was marketed as just another cliche college party movies (which is a genre I generally hate), in actuality, it's much much deeper than than, and certainly much darker. Harmony Korine is a genius, and there's no two ways about it. He's definitely not for everyone, but he's a master at what he does, and Spring Breakers is an excellent example of that.
One thing Harmony Korine does excellently is show juxtaposition between the beautiful and the ugly. Spring Breakers is absolutely beautiful. I love how vibrant and over-saturated the colors are and how the whole film looks like neon. There's no other way to describe it. It's gorgeous and I could watch it over and over again just for the colors. But despite this beauty, it's an incredibly dark film. It's an intimate look at the dark side of the stereotypical college "girls gone wild" style partying. This film is pretty much a series of horrible things happening under this beautiful, perfect, neon gloss and it's captivating. The story itself is extremely minimalistic and the film is pretty much one long montage with a concise and extremely effective story woven through. And Harmony Korine pulls this off immaculately. The cinematography and editing are wonderful and everything is so well put together. It's seamless. I'm usually not a fan of excessive use of slow-mo, but it totally works for Spring Breakers. I love the soundtrack too. It features a lot of Skrillex, but totally works too.
The characters are so great too, and they're actually really well acted. I wasn't a huge fan of Selena Gomez, but her character doesn't stick around too long, and she serves as a pretty important symbol for the story. My favorite character though is James Franco's. I believe he deserves and Oscar for the role, but I also know he won't get one, which is a shame. Alien is an absolutely fascinating character, who has way more depth than his surface appearance as drug dealer who lives the perpetual Spring Break life. It's rare to find a character that is so well developed in so few words, and I applaud Korine's superb writing. Franco himself delivers an excellent performance, making Alien both hilarious and tragic while still maintaining believability. It's not an easy role to pull off, but he makes it look easy. The rest of the cast is pretty excellent too, and I loved that Franco's nemesis in the film is portrayed by Gucci Mane.
Spring Breakers is overall an excellent blend between tragedy and comedy, and it's very easy to be both enamored and disturbed by the characters and situations. It's pretty difficult for me to make this review concise, because there's so much that I loved about this film and want to talk about in detail, but it's hard to do without turning this into an essay. It's a perfect film, with just the right balance of humor, beauty, ugliness, meaning, symbolism, and atmosphere. It's not at all self-indulgent or contrived which is an easy problem for artistic films to have. Everything has its place and everything is very deliberate, but it flows so smoothly that it's easy to get swept up in it and just surrender yourself to its current. I really can't find anything wrong with Spring Breakers. After only one viewing, it's managed to become one of my new favorite films, and that's an impressive effect for a film to have.