Bastards ★★½


Couldn’t make heads or tails of this for a while, but was able to finally jigsaw it all together with the help of Wikipedia’s synopsis. Assumed I was being lazy/careless/negligent, but on reflection, I think much of what Denis intends to imply or obfuscate simply comes off as wrongheaded omission. Most of what I found myself struggling to comprehend had nothing to do with masking the final revelation (which, let’s be honest, shouldn’t be shocking to anyone at all, really); just simple character interactions and relationships that feel incomplete, half-assed, or purposely unaddressed. But…why? Less interesting from a visual standpoint than e.g. WHITE MATERIAL, and a grimier screenplay doesn’t necessarily translate to more surface-level enjoyment—despite how out-of-character it might be for Denis (though I admit I should probably see more before passing that judgment)—so I perplexingly found myself disengaged for large sections of the runtime. (Or busy trying to remember who was who and what was what and so forth.) It’s certainly competent, and the final act is a doozy, but either I wasn’t in the proper mood to digest this or Denis’s brand of slime just doesn’t appeal to me. Even the pulp wasn’t compelling enough to justify the abstruse construction, corn cobs and all.