Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko ★★★★★

I held a screening of this one for my coworkers two days ago. This was my fourth time seeing it and everything clicked: the ending, the time travel, the teacher's lectures, the old lady and the mailbox, the character of Frank, and it's now one of my all-time favorite movies.

It captures a certain balance of comedy, horror,  and high-stakes drama that not many films do. The tone is singular all at once, though. It's really impressive. The performances are top-notch: Jake Gyllenhaal is simultaneously scary/unpredictable, particularly in his fugue states, and all-out hilarious. The Smurf-sex talk scene is a masterpiece. 

Each line of dialogue, each seeming-non-sequitur, all comes into play at some point later in the film. Cellar door. The Destructors. Sounds like a superhero. Our paths in life must be righteous. 

Love will tear us apart. 

Understanding the meaning and choice of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" unlocks the meaning of the movie. Genius, subtle storytelling.

There's more I could say, but if anyone wants to discuss the movie and its meaning, I'm happy to talk in the comments!

Ryan Faber liked these reviews