nad 🔪’s review published on Letterboxd:
“This is the Academy Awards of protests and as far as I'm concerned it's an honor just to be nominated.”
Sorkin’s a much better writer than director as it turns out, which didn’t hinder Molly’s Game too avidly from being a great film but is definitely noticeable in this one here. despite being shorter than the former it feels longer, partially because his larger-than-brain-capacity ping pong dialogue doesn’t meet its match in the relatively bland direction of its courtroom/activism drama. he remains god with his expository intros tho i love that shit
strongest when it moves between the two spheres and doesn’t directly focus on the Redmayne character, who I became increasingly bothered about because in the same way that the character and what he stands for is critiqued, he’s also forefronted again and again while actually interesting positions like the Yuppie leaders Abbie & Rubin are heavily underwritten for comedic relief, considering the extremely talented speakers they’re meant to evoke. idk what the fuck either one of them was trying to say half the time, but besides the criminally underused Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (black panthers just in this to prove a point huh) I found Jeremy Strong & Sacha Baron Cohen easy standouts.
much goodwill behind this but I can’t help find its ongoing rambles tiresome and not as enjoyable as I usually find Sorkin’s film scripts. lots of good discourse written in a way that’s just somewhat folding in on itself after a bit. feels very catchphrase-y compared to how eloquent & clever his other heavily political stuff works through it. nonetheless I thought that last act captured the tight momentum of the 60s, escalating wars abroad & at home, and the court case itself nicely in its narrative structure, paralleling the runup flashbacks to the demonstration with the trial in a building crescendo of emotions. takes soooo long to get a hold of that specific rhythm though.