Happiest Season knows the moment it’s in and how much it can push the boundaries, and it doesn’t dare come anywhere close to the edge. The win is simply getting an adequate one out there that everyone, not just queer people, will feel the need to see, and then not be put off seeing more. And in that sense, it plants its flag firmly so others can follow.
This is as much a meditation on the lasting effect of these people as it is a tale of their accomplishments and failures, so no, you shouldn’t really be looking at any of this as reality.
The Half of It clips along beautifully, giving you all the sweet charm of your favorite rom-coms while also giving you some thoughtful meditation on what love is (even if it is filtered through teens).
Tigertail is a swift 96 minutes long, but it’s one of the few movies where I’d recommend it going longer, using the time to fill in the blanks and make the whole movie feel as arresting as its early scenes. As is, it’s not a complete wash, but it’s hard to drum up a lot of enthusiasm for something that feels half-baked.
The more interesting thing that comes of this movie is its upending of our assumptions about teenage girls. Frivolity is nowhere to be found, and neither is objectification or dismissal.
That’s the thing: Stargirl isn’t outright bad. The way Hart sets up shots and makes the whole thing churn along does give it a nostalgic feel that’ll remind you of the movies that were produced for you in childhood. It goes down easy, particularly if you put it on in the background while you take care of your adult chores. But if you want something that will capture your full attention without making you slightly uncomfortable, look elsewhere.
To watch Portrait is to face what we have lost through apathy, contentment, and laziness. Film convention has captured many wonderful parts of life, but it’s also left a lot untouched. As much as some of us may rant about what’s missing, few of us have figured out how to upend over a century of defining and reinforcing what cinema is. Sciamma did it
If, like me, you don’t delight in the kerfuffles along the way, this whole thing can feel like a plod towards the inevitable.
As much as I enjoy the hangout vibes, you do leave I Am Not Okay with This wanting just a bit more. A bit more answers, a bit more definition, a bit more time. I suppose that’s a great setup for more seasons, but with so many compelling things packed into this nimble offering, it’s a shame to have to qualify my enthusiasm. Hopefully more seasons come, ones that will fill out and pin down this world I desperately want to know all about.
The film falls into stale traps, ones so basic and obvious that it’s almost maddening to see them regurgitated for yet another rote thriller. Women in peril? Check. Completely gratuitous violence? Check. Female characters with almost every feminine quality drained from them? Big check.