A month ago I watched Under the Skin, Enemy and Prisoners on the same weekend. I attempted to watch another film but gave up because I was fully sated.
Under the Skin and Prisoners are excellent independent films. The structure, subject matter – even the looks of the films are singular enough to clue in the viewer that anything goes. It is a freeing sensation and most likely these films will annoy more than they will entertain. Which is a shame. Each has its merits as well as its shortcomings but their existence, that they were made at all, is reassuring. In this time when directors are opting out of filmmaking, when critics and Internet commentators bemoan the death of the auteur and original films, I take comfort in proof to the contrary. In fact a quick look at all of the films A24 is involved with is enough to soften even the toughest of cynics -good things are going on.
The final film I watched was Prisoners. I was hesitant due to the subject of the film, now that I have young children of my own such storylines are of little interest to me for entertainment purposes. After seeing Enemy I felt I could trust the director and I am happy to report I was not wrong. The film is perfectly executed, immaculately lit and filled with wonderful performances. This may in fact be the performance of Hugh Jackman’s career. You hardly notice how little the other, exceptional, actors are given to do because Prisoners truly is Mr. Jackman’s film.
Next up is Incendies, a film I have been putting off seeing despite hearing wonderful things about. Denis Villeneuve you have a new admirer. Thank you for the wonderful films.