This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I'm at a bit of a loss. The first half of this movie plays like a Lars von Trier "Golden Heart" trilogy film, except the main character is a big piece of shit with no redeeming qualities instead of a plucky, pure character you want to root for. I hated it. Then, when a sudden narrative shift makes that character's sister the protagonist (a move that rarely works imo), I found it to be quite compelling and *almost* justify the insufferable first half, as we see how the family copes with the senseless acts they have survived and even heal wounds that had been present even before the tragic climax of the first act.

Even when it came around for me, it had its faults. Lucas Hedges, who typically can only elevate any movie in which he's cast, reduces his character to a manic pixie dream boy with a quirky performance that belongs in a much less grounded movie than this one aims to be. While the soundtrack bumps (an ecstasy sequence set to Animal Collective's Raven Loch? I'm all in), the on-the-nose pop song soundtrack that rarely quiets telegraphs the characters' emotions far too often. However, the cinematography has an undeniable flow and every shot is vibrant with color and life.

Perhaps it's best viewed as a mood piece or an experiment. It's exactly the kind of movie I can't quantify with a star rating, which says... something.

The last time I went from hating to loving a movie by the end like this was Beyond The Black Rainbow, and while that movie totally justifies the nearly painful first act that sets up the rest of the film in my opinion, I'm not as sure about this one.

Mack liked this review